Wisdom Tooth Extractions – Dallas, TX
Gently Removing Unneeded Teeth
Most people have four wisdom teeth located at the very back corners of their mouths. The wisdom teeth normally erupt far later than the rest of the teeth, which means they often don’t have the room they need to grow. This causes them to become painfully impacted underneath the gums. To stop the discomfort and damage that wisdom teeth can cause, call Dr. Barnett and the rest of our periodontal team to ask about wisdom tooth extractions in Dallas, TX.
Why Choose Lincoln Park Periodontal and Dental Implant Group for Wisdom Tooth Extractions?
- Three Forms of Comfortable Dental Sedation
- Current, Evidence-Based Techniques
- Honest & Transparent Treatment Plans
What are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth (or third molars) are teeth that typically erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. While the age at which they appear can vary, they are widely considered to be an “evolutionary relic” of humans.
Thousands of years ago, hunter-gatherer communities would often lose teeth due to their incredibly rough and scarce diets. When meat wasn’t available, they would need to eat very tough plant materials, such as reed plants. This put a lot of stress on the back teeth, resulting in tooth loss. In these circumstances, having third molars helped them survive until the next meal.
Today, wisdom teeth are not particularly useful anymore and in many cases can be more harmful than helpful when left inside the mouth. Not only is there usually not enough space for them, but they can lead to many complications down the road.
Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed?
Surprisingly, not everyone has to have their wisdom teeth removed. The surgery becomes necessary if:
- The wisdom tooth fails to break through the gums all the way or at all.
- The wisdom tooth grows at an angle, damaging the teeth next to it.
- The wisdom tooth causes a significant amount of pain.
- The wisdom tooth cannot be properly brushed or flossed, increasing your risk of cavities and gum disease.
- A cyst forms around the wisdom tooth.
What to Expect During Wisdom Tooth Removal
Ahead of wisdom tooth removal, one of our periodontists will perform a detailed exam to confirm if your wisdom teeth need to be removed. If this is the case, they’ll schedule you for surgery.
First, the periodontist administers the necessary anesthetics as well as sedation if requested. Next, one of two steps will happen. If the tooth is easily accessible, then a dental elevator will be used to gently rock the tooth back and forth so it can be removed from the jaw. Alternatively, if the tooth is trapped underneath gum tissue (or impacted), a small incision in the gums is made in order to reach it. In either case, it’s not uncommon for the tooth to be broken into smaller portions and removed bit by bit, rather than as one whole piece.
Recovering from Wisdom Teeth Extraction
After the surgery, we’ll have a number of instructions for you to follow in order to minimize your pain and prevent complications. A piece of gauze can be used to reduce the bleeding that occurs after the surgery, and if you need to, you can apply ice packs to the swollen areas in your mouth. Drink fluids at regular intervals so that you don’t become dehydrated. You can eat any kind of soft food as long as you chew away from the surgical site.
Wisdom Tooth Extractions FAQs
Our team is ready to help you say farewell to troublesome wisdom teeth. Before you contact us to schedule an appointment, however, you may want to learn more about the road ahead. To help you out, we have put together a list of some frequently asked questions about wisdom tooth extractions in Dallas. If you do not find the information you were hoping for, feel free to give us a call — we are always happy to chat with patients and potential patients.
Does Everyone Have Wisdom Teeth?
Most people develop four wisdom teeth in their late teens or early 20s. However, there are some exceptions. According to one estimate published in the Dental Research Journal, between 5% and 37% of people are missing one or more wisdom teeth.
No one knows for sure why some people never develop their third molars. However, genetics are likely to have something to do with it. If one of your parents does not have all of their wisdom teeth, you are more likely to be missing at least one of them.
Keep in mind that even if you cannot see your wisdom teeth, you may still have them. An X-Ray can reveal how many you have and whether they are posing an imminent threat to your oral health.
How Should I Prepare for My Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
One of the best things you can do to prepare is ask questions — being well-informed about the procedure can help you go into it with confidence. Some other practical steps you can take include:
- Arrange for a friend or family member to drive you to and from your appointment, especially if you will be sedated.
- Make sure your dentist in Dallas knows about any medications or recreational drugs that you use.
- Avoid smoking for at least 12 hours before your procedure.
- Wear comfortable clothing.
- Stock up on soft foods that will be easy for you to prepare while you are recovering from your surgery.
How Do You Make Wisdom Teeth Pain Go Away?
The only way to permanently get rid of painful wisdom teeth is to have them extracted. Prior to your surgery, you can make yourself as comfortable as possible by using at-home pain remedies. For example, you may wrap an ice pack in a towel and apply it to your cheek for 20 minutes at a time. This can reduce swelling and minimize discomfort. Additionally, you can try taking over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen. Using an over-the-counter numbing gel, as well as rinsing with a saltwater solution, could also help to keep pain under control.
Is Wisdom Tooth Removal Painful?
Our periodontists want patients to be comfortable, so they will make sure that your mouth is numb before they get to work on removing your wisdom teeth. We also offer various types of sedation, which can help you relax and reduce your body’s ability to feel pain.
After your surgery, some soreness is to be expected. You can make yourself more comfortable by eating soft foods, getting plenty of rest, and taking pain medication as directed.