All About Wisdom Tooth Extractions
One dental procedure that many adults find themselves needing at some point is wisdom tooth extraction. This is the most common type of tooth extraction. The wisdom teeth are the teeth furthest back and the ones that grow in last. However, for many people, their wisdom teeth never grow in fully or properly and thus need to be removed.
This is partially because evolutionary needs have changed and modern humans don’t have the same diets as their ancestors and have smaller jaws, which means there is less room for our teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth can be quite painful, but they can also lead to infection and other complications, which is why removal is often the best option.
How We Can Help You
Patients in the Burke, Virginia area can trust the team at Burke Dental to give them the best care around. Led by Dr. James Willis, our team believes in quality dental care. We make sure our patients understand the treatment they are getting and why we think it is necessary and we also strive to make the patient as comfortable as possible during the procedure. At Burke Dental, our patients are our #1 priority.
Dr. James Willis and his team are thorough, friendly, genuine and very professional… I highly recommend this practice to someone looking for a great dental team. Burke Dental is your place!Jacqueline
My family and I have been very happy with Dr. Willis as our new family dentist. We had been with Dr. Brigleb for many years, and with his recommendation, we stayed with this practice. Dr. Willis is a very caring and concerned person, with your dental health foremost in his mindCharlene
Benefits to Removing Wisdom Teeth
Some patients wonder why their wisdom teeth need to come out. After all, if they grew in on their own, doesn’t that mean we need them? The answer to that is no, because we no longer have diets that require 32 teeth. Very little chewing capacity is achieved by wisdom teeth. If a patient’s wisdom teeth aren’t bothering them or causing inflammation or other issues, there might not be any rush to remove them. However, in many cases the teeth don’t grow in properly which can lead to other issues and in these cases it is best to address the issue as soon as possible to prevent further complications. In an otherwise healthy mouth, there are no known benefits to keeping troublesome wisdom teeth, other than to avoid a dental procedure, but there are many reasons for removing them:
- Wisdom teeth can get infected. Wisdom teeth that don’t grow in properly can lead to inflamed and infected gums. This can lead to cavities and gum disease.
- They can damage your other teeth. The inflammation caused by wisdom teeth can spread throughout the mouth, possibly affecting other teeth and can lead to bone damage.
- Gum damage can lead to further infection. Infected gums can be dangerous because it can spread to other parts of the body and cause serious health problems.
- Impacted Wisdom teeth are painful. As the wisdom tooth tries and fails to grow, it damages the gums and can cause periodic swelling which can be quite painful. It can also lead to bleeding gums and jaw pain.
- Wisdom teeth are difficult to clean. Because they are located at the very back of the mouth, it can be difficult to clean wisdom teeth, which can lead to plaque build-up and leftover food particles which can lead to cavities or gum infection.
Removing wisdom teeth can leave a mouth healthier and lower the risk of future infection. It also makes it easier to care for the remaining teeth. Removing wisdom teeth can make for a healthier mouth.
How Would You Know If You Need A Wisdom Tooth Extracted?
The best way to know if wisdom teeth should come out is to consult with a professional. Patients in the Burke, Virginia area can make an appointment with Burke Dental and our team of qualified professionals will examine your teeth and recommend whether or not the wisdom teeth should come out. If the wisdom teeth are impacted or if there is noticeable inflammation or crowding, then we may recommend that they be removed.
When Wisdom Teeth Should Be Left In
There are very few reasons to leave wisdom teeth in. If the teeth grow in neatly, without crowding the other teeth and cause zero pain and inflammation, then there is no pressing need to remove them. However, the inflammation can crop up suddenly, so it is important to take note of any changes or discomfort. The only other reason to leave wisdom teeth in would be if there was more risk from the procedure, such as patients who are elderly, not in good health, or who react badly to the anesthesia. Otherwise, wisdom tooth extraction is a simple procedure with very few downsides.
All About Wisdom-Tooth Extractions
At the start of the procedure, the patient will be given local anesthesia. It most cases this will be a local anesthesia, which will numb one specific area, but if a patient is having multiple wisdom teeth extracted then they may be given anesthetic in multiple areas, which will cause them to be numb in all areas treated. The anesthesia will help minimize the pain of the procedure.
Once the anesthesia has been applied, Dr. Willis will elevate the gum tissue and potentially a portion of interfering bone in order to remove the tooth in question. The bone is removed to ease the pressure on your jaw and to minimize complications, which can lead to infection and further oral health issues.
Generally the recovery time for the extraction of wisdom teeth is a few days. Once the anesthesia wears off, a patient may feel some discomfort or minor pain and may experience swelling. For the first few days after the extraction, patients will be advised to eat soft foods to give the gums a chance to heal. Patients also shouldn’t drink from a straw for the first few days because it can dislodge the blood clot that will form over the spot of the extraction and cause serious complications. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin) or acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) and an ice pack will help with the swelling and discomfort.
Patients will be given post-removal care instructions before they leave our office. This includes instruction for oral care for the first 24 hours, and a reminder to clean the area gently because brushing can irritate the gums. After the first day, patients will be instructed to rinse their mouth several times a day with a warm salt water rinse. This will help reduce the swelling and help to avoid infection.
Patients will be advised to be alert for potential complications. Symptoms to watch out for include continuous bleeding, swelling that lasts more than a week, extreme pain, and fever. Patients experiencing these symptoms are advised to call our office immediately and we will advise you on the next step.
Impacted wisdom teeth can be painful. They can also be dangerous. Just because wisdom teeth grow in naturally doesn’t mean that they should be there for a lifetime. In many cases patients are healthier and happier once their wisdom teeth have been removed. Removing wisdom teeth cuts down on potential cavities and infections and can reduce pain. It is best to remove wisdom teeth before they cause serious infection and complications. Patients who still have their wisdom teeth, but who have noticed discomfort, swelling, sore gums, or bleeding should contact the staff at Burke Dental immediately.
Contact Burke Dental Today!
Burke Dental is happy to serve the Burke, Virginia area and make sure that our patients have access to the best dental care. This means advising patients on what we think is best and eliminating potential problems. Once a patient contacts the team at Burke Dental, we will book an appointment to examine their teeth and then go from there. The first step is making an appointment and you can book online or by calling our office at 703-978-6000
We are located at 9006 Fern Park Drive Ste A, Burke, VA 22015
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Burke, VA has a rich history. We are proud to be apart of our unique & special community. We believe the great people of our city is what set Burke apart from the rest of Virginia. If you are new to Burke or are just stopping by to check out the town, here are a few places you may want to visit: