Third molars, or more commonly known as “wisdom teeth,” usually erupt between the ages of 17 and 21. They are more prone to problems when they break through the gum tissue since there is usually little room available for them.
Therefore, they may become impacted or erupt sideways which can cause infection, pain and swelling. If you are facing any of these conditions, your dentist may recommend wisdom teeth removal surgery in Dallas, Texas.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
Wisdom teeth extraction can be complicated if the teeth haven’t erupted through the gumline however, it is a common oral surgery. You should always use a board-certified surgeon to perform surgical procedures. If you prefer to be heavily sedated for the procedure, the dentist or surgeon you choose must have special equipment for monitoring patients under anesthesia.
Some side effects of wisdom teeth removal may include:
- Persistent sinus opening
- Lower lip numbness
There are disadvantages to keeping your wisdom teeth which may include jaw pain, shifting of surrounding teeth and infections. The decision to extract is yours alone.
If you need your wisdom teeth removed, contact us today at our office near Dallas, TX to schedule an appointment.
Wisdom Teeth Symptoms
Symptoms of wisdom teeth which may need to be removed can include:
- Pain behind the molars near the back of the mouth. As the wisdom teeth grow in, the pain will increase as they press on bone and nerves, crowd the teeth surrounding them and grow in sideways or misaligned.
- You may experience swelling, tenderness, pain and redness. Infections can develop as wisdom teeth erupt which allows bacteria to enter. This can affect your general health.
- Neighboring teeth can block the wisdom teeth from erupting properly which causes them to become impacted. They essentially become “trapped,” their roots will continue to grow and the longer they are impacted, the more likely they are to cause trouble. Impacted wisdom teeth symptoms are: infection, pain, bad breath, swelling and redness. If impacted wisdom teeth are not removed, they can cause cysts and possibly tumors.
Wisdom Tooth Pain
If you are experiencing pain near the back of your mouth, you may be questioning whether it’s your wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth can be painful when they come in. How can you tell if it’s your wisdom teeth or not?
- The pain is coming from behind your molars, near the back of your mouth.
- You can see the wisdom teeth starting to erupt through your gumline.
- The area where your wisdom teeth should be is tender, red and inflamed.
- You may not experience any visible symptoms associated with wisdom tooth pain.
Some people experience wisdom teeth pain while eating or touching the gum area, while others experience discomfort constantly. Most dentists prefer that wisdom teeth be removed before the pain becomes an issue altogether.
Oral pain can also have a number of other causes. They can include tooth decay, fracture or abscess, a broken or damaged filling, nightly teeth grinding, and gum infection. No matter what the cause though, you should still see your dentist when you experience oral pain.
Pain in the mouth can have other causes you should be aware of. These include: abscess or fracture, teeth grinding, damaged or broken fillings, gum infections and tooth decay. Regardless of cause, you should always visit a dentist when you have pain in your mouth.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Based on the arrangement of teeth in the jaw, there are a few degrees of impacted wisdom teeth.
Soft tissue impaction. This occurs when the gum still covers a portion of the tooth but after the crown has emerged from the bone.
Partial bony impaction. This is when a part of the tooth remains in the jawbone but the tooth has erupted partially.
Complete bony impaction. This is when the entire tooth is inside of the jawbone.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth Symptoms
Not everyone experiences symptoms with impacted wisdom teeth. Many people do not even realize they have impacted wisdom teeth.
The most common symptom of an impacted wisdom tooth is infected or swollen gums on top of the tooth. You may also experience bleeding gums, swelling, headache, jaw ache, bad breath and pain. On occasion, some people get a stiff jaw or swollen lymph nodes in their neck.
If you have any of these symptoms, please give us a call at our office near Dallas, TX for a consultation. If left untreated, impacted wisdom teeth can cause tooth decay and gum disease. They can also cause overcrowding, infection and damage to your other teeth.
To catch any impacted wisdom teeth, it’s important to keep up with your dental cleanings and x-rays before you start having symptoms. If you have any impacted wisdom teeth, your dentist may recommend they be extracted.
Wisdom Tooth Infection
Many times, when a wisdom tooth is coming in, it doesn’t have enough room so it just partially erupts through the gumline. This leaves a flap of gum tissue that can trap food particles which results in an infection in the gum surrounding the tooth. Medically known as pericoronitis, it can have the following symptoms:
- Swollen tissue or painful gums around the wisdom tooth
- A bad taste or smell in your mouth
- Chills or fever
- Lymph nodes that are swollen
- Jaw muscle spasms
If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your dental professional for an evaluation.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction
The surgical procedure to remove one or more wisdom teeth is known as wisdom tooth extraction. Wisdom teeth are four permanent teeth found at the back corners of the mouth on both top and bottom although, some people don’t have them at all or may only have them in one location.
You will most likely need to have your wisdom teeth extracted if you are experiencing dental problems such as infection, pain or have impacted wisdom teeth. The wisdom tooth extraction surgery can be done by a dentist but we recommend that you use a board-certified surgeon such as Dr. Choi at North Texas Dental Surgery near Dallas, TX.
Even if you are not experiencing any symptoms from your wisdom teeth, you should still have a consultation to see if removal could prevent any problems or complications further down the road.
Wisdom Teeth Removal Procedure
Some impacted wisdom teeth don’t require removal, but symptomatic cases usually need surgical extraction by a dentist or an oral surgeon in an outpatient setting. Local or general anesthesia may be used, depending on the severity of the condition. First, an incision in the gums is made and any bone blocking the impacted tooth is removed before the tooth itself, according to the Mayo Clinic. Afterward, the incision is stitched shut and the empty tooth socket is packed with gauze.
Wisdom Teeth Surgery
The surgery begins with an incision in the gumline. Any bone which may be blocking the tooth is then removed, if needed. The tooth is then removed and the incision is stitched closed. If the tooth has erupted at an angle, or if it’s too large to remove in one piece, it is cut into smaller pieces using a drill. The goal is to make the patient as comfortable as possible. Gauze is then used to pack the empty tooth socket.
If the patient is experiencing an infection, the wisdom tooth removal surgery may be delayed until a round of antibiotics has been taken.
To recap, here are the steps for wisdom tooth extraction. The doctor will:
- Create an opening in the gum to expose the tooth and bone by making an incision
- Drill the tooth into multiple pieces, making it easier to remove (if needed)
- Remove the tooth
- Cleans any debris from the site
- Stitches the site closed (sometimes this step isn’t necessary)
- Places gauze over the area where the tooth was removed to control bleeding
Wisdom Teeth Sedation
There are three types of anesthesia commonly used for wisdom tooth removal. Your doctor will decide the appropriate option for your case depending on complexity of the procedure and your comfort level.
The three types of anesthesia include:
Local anesthesia. Local anesthesia is administered with one or more injections near the site of each tooth to be extracted. You will more than likely have a substance applied to your gums before the injection to numb the area. With only local anesthesia, you would be awake during the procedure. You should not have any pain but you may feel some pressure.
Sedation anesthesia. Sedation anesthesia is administered through an IV in your arm. With this type of anesthesia, you don’t feel any pain and your consciousness is suppressed, making you feel drowsy or fall asleep. Sedation anesthesia is also used with local anesthesia.
General anesthesia. In rare cases, a person may have general anesthesia for their wisdom teeth removal. General anesthesia is inhaled through the nose and makes you lose consciousness. The patient feels no pain during the procedure and their breathing, blood pressure and other vital signs are closely monitored during the procedure.
Wisdom Teeth Removal Cost
A number of factors can effect the cost of wisdom tooth removal including:
- The dentist’s experience
- The geographic location of the dentist’s practice
- Your dental insurance coverage
- The complexity of your procedure
Wisdom teeth removal in Dallas, Texas can range in price from $140 to $400 per tooth. This cost range does not include fees associated with sedation, X-rays, possible oral surgery necessities, or the proximity of the wisdom tooth to surrounding teeth and nerves. Extraction costs for impacted wisdom teeth are significantly higher than for erupted wisdom teeth.
Before scheduling your wisdom teeth to be removed, you should check with your insurance provider to see what they will cover. Some insurance companies will provide a partial reimbursement while others will absorb a percentage of the total procedure cost.
Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery
How long does it take to recover from wisdom teeth removal? About 5 to 7 days but about 3 to 4 weeks for the gums to fully heal. Recovery can take up to 6 months if the jaw was damaged during the surgery.
To ensure proper recovery and healing from the surgery, there are several steps you should take.
During the first 24 hours: expect some bleeding from the removal sites. You can place a moist piece of gauze over the site to control the bleeding. Apply pressure by biting on the gauze for 45 minutes, which should stop the bleeding.
Swelling of the face can be expected after your wisdom teeth are removed. Wrap ice in a cloth and apply it to the swollen area, to help reduce swelling. Only apply ice for 10 minutes at a time, then removing it for 20 minutes before repeating. You can repeat these steps as often as needed.
Teabags can be used to prevent bleeding as an alternative to gauze. If bleeding persists for an extended amount of time, contact your doctor.
If stitches were used for your wisdom tooth removal procedure, they will need to be removed if they are not self-dissolving. Your doctor will discuss this with you beforehand, if needed.
Over the counter medication such as Ibuprofen may be used for discomfort and pain. If needed, your doctor may prescribe pain relievers. You may also be prescribed antibiotics. If you are prescribed antibiotics, it’s very important that you follow the instructions and take the medication until gone.
Wisdom Teeth Dry Socket
When the blood clot is lost prematurely at the extraction site, or if it forms improperly, this is called a “dry socket.” Dry sockets from wisdom tooth extraction can delay recovery and be very painful.
There are steps you can take to help prevent a dry socket:
- Avoid smoking after surgery for as long as possible.
- Do not use a straw.
- Females should wait until the end of their menstrual cycle when estrogen levels are lower to reduce the chances of a developing dry socket.
- Avoid eating foods that become easily lodged in the gums such as popcorn and nuts for at least 3-4 days.
- Do not consume hot beverages or foods as the heat may dislodge the blood clot.
Call us today to schedule your wisdom teeth removal at our office near Dallas, TX.