Wisdom tooth giving you pain? In need of tooth extraction and looking for a dental team to get the job done? Simply Smile, located in Indianapolis, provides same day dental services and handles a broad range of dental care needs, from impacted wisdom tooth removal to missing teeth and issues which may cause jaw pain, tooth pain and overall damage to your oral health.
If you’re looking for a bit more info around wisdom teeth misalignment and wisdom teeth extraction, read on!
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth, or “third molars,” located at the top and bottom of the back part of your mouth (near the entrance of the throat), are typically the last four of 32 teeth to break through the gum surface. Because this typically this happens in late teens and early twenties — between the ages 17 to 25 — these stubborn teeth are termed “wisdom” since they seem to surface past childhood.
But many would argue that these teeth are not so wise, because most in most cases, wisdom teeth don’t erupt on their own. Inadequate space in the mouth often doesn’t allow the wisdom teeth to break through the gum surface properly. The result? Impaction. Unfortunately, this can can lead to swollen gums, infection, crowded mouths, sore jaw muscles and in some cases, painful infection.
Why It's Important to Remove Wisdom Teeth
Of course, there are plenty of people with adult teeth that don’t need their wisdom teeth removed. Early evaluation and treatment (typically in the mid-teen years) is recommended in order to identify potential problems and to improve the results for patients requiring wisdom teeth extractions.
In most cases, patients know when they have impacted teeth, because there are often accompanying symptoms, such as severe pain or swelling, minor bleeding, tooth rot or infection. In these cases, if an impacted tooth/teeth are left untreated, it can lead to greater risk including:
Damaged surrounding teeth: When impacted wisdom teeth are left to their own devices they wreak havoc on your second molars, which can speed up tooth decay and lead to severe oral health issues, like periodontal disease, bone loss, and cavities.
Infections: Though rare, cysts and tumors can develop within the areas surrounding impacted wisdom teeth. Additionally, bacteria and food can get trapped under the gum tissue, resulting in an infection which can lead to considerable pain and in extreme cases, gum disease and damaged nerves.
Not enough space: When impacted wisdom teeth are left unchecked, the pressure can create misalignment, crowding and issues which may lead to other oral surgery needs.
Dr. Marcus believes that a healthy smile is built on a strong relationship and education about oral health care. He loves working with children and is an absolutely amazing kids dentist. Parents that have brought their kids to Simply Smile highly recommend Dr. Marcus as a pediatric dentist.
Types of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
The severity of the impaction depends on the actual depth of the teeth within the jaw, which affects the type of extraction procedure.
The types of impacted wisdom teeth include:
Soft Tissue Impaction: The upper portion, or the crown of the tooth, has penetrated through the bone, but the gum is covering part or all of the tooth’s crown and has not positioned properly around the tooth. Because it is difficult to keep the area clean, food can become trapped below the gum and cause an infection and/or tooth decay, resulting in pain and swelling.
Partial Bony Impaction: The tooth has partially erupted, but a portion of the crown remains submerged below the gum and surrounding jawbone. Again, because it is difficult to keep the area clean, infection often follows.
Complete Bony Impaction: The tooth is completely encased by jawbone. This will require more complex oral surgery removal techniques.
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What to Expect From The Wisdom Teeth Removal Process
Wisdom teeth removal falls under oral and maxillofacial surgery, which requires four to six years of additional formal training. Dr. Marcus, who leads the Simply Smile team, is recognized by the American Dental Association for his training and treating within the craniomaxillofacial complex.
If your wisdom teeth have failed to fully emerge, here’s what you can expect:
Step 1. Initial Examination. Dr. Marcus will conduct an initial examination of the wisdom teeth as well as the other teeth to make sure he can take the proper approach ensure successful treatment.
Step 2. X-Rays. Typically Dr. Marcus will order panoramic or digital X-rays (especially for new patients) so they can more closely evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and determine if a current problem exists, or the likelihood of any potential future problems. The X-rays can also provide more information about any additional risk factors, such as deterioration or decay of nearby teeth.
Step 3. Extraction Procedure. Wisdom teeth removal is a common oral surgery procedure, and is performed under local anesthesia, intravenous (IV) sedation, or general anesthesia for a more comfortable extraction procedure. The surgery doesn’t require an overnight stay, so you can expect to be released the same day to start the healing process. Keep in mind, you’ll need someone to drive you home from your appointment because you’ll likely be loopy from the sedation.
Step 4. Post-Surgical Care. After the procedure, you’ll have a little bit of necessary gauze on the extraction site. Dr. Marcus will send you home with post-operative instructions and prescribed medication to help alleviate pain and discomfort. For the next few days you’ll need to take measures to control bleeding, so you may need to apply moist heat to the removed tooth area to help the blood clot. You’ll also want to make sure to follow the dentists’s instructions to best promote healing, such as checking for irregular inflammation and eating soft foods, like mashed potatoes, soup, apple sauce or Jell-O.
For more info on the wisdom teeth removal procedure, or to receive dental services and care for a dental emergency, call Simply Smile and make an appointment today oral surgery.
About Simply Smile
Dr. Marcus Bigot, fondly known as Dr. Marcus, leads the Simply Smile team in his hometown of Indianapolis. He attended college and dental school at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he was a member of the American Student Dental Association and the Special Care Dentistry Association, working closely with people who struggle with mental disabilities and dental phobias.
He then moved back to the Northern Indy area so he could work in the communities he grew up in. The Simply Smile team believes that dentistry is so much more than simply fixing teeth. It’s about building relationships and educating patients on oral health so they can own and advocate for their own health.