Wisdom Tooth Extractions – Auburn, ME
Preserve Your Oral Health
In most cases, we strive to preserve our patients’ natural teeth to the extent possible. However, sometimes it is necessary to perform extractions in order to stop and/or prevent dental problems. That is often true of wisdom teeth. Read on to learn more about what the wisdom teeth are, why they oftentimes need to be extracted, and what you can expect during and after this type of oral surgery.
What Are the Wisdom Teeth?
The wisdom teeth are the third molars at the back of the mouth. They are called the wisdom teeth because they develop much later than the rest of a person’s permanent teeth, when the individual is older and “wiser” than they were previously. It is common for people to develop a total of four wisdom teeth. However, some individuals do not develop any at all, whereas others grow just one or two wisdom teeth. In rare cases, a person may have more than four wisdom teeth; the extras are called “supernumerary” teeth.
Reasons for Wisdom Tooth Extraction
During your routine checkups in our office, we will examine your wisdom teeth and look for any indications that they are causing problems or that they will cause problems in the future. We may recommend extraction if:
- The teeth are impacted (stuck beneath the gum line).
- The teeth are endangering the teeth next to them. Sometimes, the wisdom teeth can push the adjacent teeth out of alignment.
- There are signs of infection or decay. Because the wisdom teeth are so far back in the mouth, it may be difficult to clean them properly. Hence, it is much easier for bacteria and food particles to build up on them and around them.
- You request to have the wisdom teeth removed as a purely precautionary measure. Keep in mind that extracting these teeth is not always necessary; some individuals retain their wisdom teeth for a lifetime and suffer no adverse effects because of it. Also, remember that even though most people get their wisdom teeth removed during adolescence or young adulthood, the surgery can still be performed on older individuals.
The Extraction Procedure
We generally use both anesthesia and sedation to help our patients remain comfortable throughout their wisdom teeth extraction procedure. You should feel very little during the procedure itself. Dr. Gass, our in-house oral surgeon, may create an incision in your gums in order to remove the teeth. Then, he will take them out while disturbing the surrounding tissue as little as possible.
We recommend that you take a few days off of work or school following your procedure so your body can focus on healing. You should also avoid smoking, strenuous exercise, the use of straws, and any hard or crunchy foods that might irritate the extraction sites. Most individuals are able to resume their normal routines within a week to 10 days after their surgery. Of course, if you ever have any questions or concerns while you are recovering, we urge you to call our team right away.