Wisdom Teeth Extractions with Dr. Robson
As we advance from childhood to adulthood, there’s bound to be a lot of growth and changes in your body. One of the most common changes is the addition of “third molars” known as wisdom teeth, and oftentimes our jaws can’t accommodate them. Because they grow in through the back, wisdom teeth can be a risk to your oral health: they can crowd your teeth, cause pain, or even misalign your smile.
Why Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?
When most wisdom teeth erupt, they can come in at odd angles due to the shape of your smile. By the time they emerge, most patients will not have the extra room that the teeth require to fit comfortably. At this stage, in order to protect your smile, the best course of action is to have these teeth removed.
Types of Impactions
Not all impacted wisdom teeth are the same. Listed here are the common positions that wisdom teeth can be in:
- Mesial: This impaction is when the top of the tooth (known as the crown) is angled forward, and typically presses against the neighboring molar.
- Distal: The opposite of mesial, where the crown of the tooth is angled towards the back, sometimes with the tooth root pressing against the neighboring molar.
- Vertical: The wisdom tooth is positioned completely up and down, but is still situated underneath the gums.
- Horizontal: This impaction has the wisdom tooth lying on it’s side. Typically, in this position, the crown of the wisdom tooth could be pressed against the roots of the adjacent molar.
- Bony Impaction: The wisdom tooth is actually trapped in the jawbone, and you will need a consultation to determine if an extraction is necessary. In rare cases, the wisdom tooth may not be impacting the neighboring teeth at all.
Symptoms of an Impacted Wisdom Tooth
How do you know if it’s time to remove a wisdom tooth? Dr. Robson can determine if the positioning or impaction of your wisdom tooth warrants a removal. However, the following symptoms can also be signs that your wisdom teeth must be removed.
- Difficulty opening or closing your mouth
- Pain and tenderness in the gums of jawbone
- Headaches or jaw pain from the impacted teeth
- Swollen, bleeding, or reddened gums
- Unpleasant taste in your mouth
- Halitosis (bad breath)
It’s important that you take care of yourself after the wisdom tooth extraction has been completed. This includes taking it easy, taking pain medication as needed, and adhering to the following instructions:
- Change the gauze pads as needed
- Do NOT use straws
- Avoid highly textured foods (crunchy, tough, sticky) until healed
- Contact our office if the surgery site is bleeding or swelling profusely
Keep an Eye Out for Dry Socket
While rare, some patients may experience a condition known as dry socket. When the tooth is removed, a blood clot forms to keep the socket moist and clear of bacteria as it heals. However, if that blood clot becomes dislodged or dissolved, it’s possible for food particles, air, and other fragments to get stuck in the socket. These can cause the area to become infected and inflamed, causing pain and soreness.
Patients who are most at risk for dry socket include smokers, those with poor oral hygiene, and those who don’t follow Dr. Robson’s aftercare instructions.
Whether you know your wisdom teeth are impacted or that you’re beginning to think your wisdom teeth are on their way out, it’s time to visit our Grand Rapids, MI dentist. Contact Robson Family Dental today to schedule a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Robson himself. You’ll get the information you need and your questions about wisdom teeth extraction and impaction answered.