Wisdom Teeth Extractions - Cambridge, OH | Marietta, OH
A Trusted Oral Surgeon Performing Gentle Tooth Removal
The average mouth is designed to hold a grand total of 28 teeth comfortably – but actually, virtually all patients have 32. These remaining four teeth are the last to emerge into a healthy smile, usually when you’re in your late teenage years or early adult years. They’re the third molars, more commonly known as “wisdom teeth,” and because of their late arrival and lack of overall space, a wide variety of potentially serious health problems can occur. In many cases, Dr. Jeff Lee recommends the surgical removal of your wisdom teeth to preserve overall oral health. Contact our team at Muskingum Valley Oral Surgery today to schedule a consultation!
Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?
It is widely believed that the third molars played an important role in the mouths of ancient humans. Back then, people survived on a relatively coarse diet and did not have as many options for keeping their teeth clean, and as a result early tooth loss was relatively common; hence, having an extra set of molars was helpful in those times. However, the quality of today’s dental care means people are retaining their full smiles, and as a result there’s rarely enough room for wisdom teeth to erupt without causing complications.
Why are Wisdom Tooth Extractions Recommended?
If wisdom teeth are able to fully erupt into a patient’s existing smile, aligned properly and surrounded by healthy gum tissue, they can be retained. Unfortunately, this rarely happens. Instead, these four teeth are commonly subject to sideways growth, partial eruption, failed eruption, overcrowding, and other serious concerns that expose smiles to infection and pain. In fact, the natural alignment of teeth can be threatened, and tumors and cysts may form. Because of this, Dr. Lee typically recommends that wisdom teeth are removed early on as a preventive measure.
How Do I Know If an Extraction is Needed?
We’ll need to take X-rays of your jaw and check your bite before deciding whether or not extraction is the right course of action for you. If we discover that the wisdom teeth are trapped under the gums or are causing your other teeth to shift out of place, we’re likely to recommend extraction as a solution. Also, if you notice oral pain, shifting teeth, bleeding gums, or facial swelling, you should contact us as soon as possible for a consultation.
What Can I Expect During the Wisdom Tooth Extraction Process?
If removal of the wisdom teeth is deemed necessary, the procedure will be handled as precisely and comfortably as possible. Our team discusses surgical risks beforehand, and general anesthesia is available for those who are anxious or have a complex case involving impaction or other concerns. Removing wisdom teeth can be a simple or complex procedure. Once we’ve successfully completed the extraction, Dr. Lee sutures the gums and provides gauze to minimize bleeding. Our team at Muskingum Valley Oral Surgery provides detailed post-op instructions so your recovery proceeds smoothly.
On the day of the extraction, you should make sure your teeth are clean before your appointment. Ask a responsible adult to come with you; you’ll need them to drive you home later. Due to the sedative used, we recommend not eating or drinking anything for at least six hours before the surgery.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction Aftercare
During the first day, take antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications as directed, and apply an ice pack to any swollen areas at 20-minute intervals. Plan on a fully liquid diet for the next 24 hours. On the second day, you should stop using ice packs, and you can start working your way back up to soft foods such as scrambled eggs. After that point, you should start reintroducing foods that are more difficult to chew into your diet. If the pain becomes severe or isn’t relieved by medication, call our office. Recovery usually happens without additional complications, but you should let Dr. Lee know if you experience dry socket, an infection, numbness, or other issues.