At LA Dental Clinic we perform wisdom tooth extractions upon recommendation or request. Getting your wisdom teeth out is a big decision.
Sometimes it is necessary and at other times it is a preventative measure. Wisdom tooth removal is very common, learn more about why they are removed, and how we do it.
Your wisdom teeth sit at the very back of your mouth. They are a bit larger than your molars. You are not born with wisdom teeth, they grow in overtime.
Wisdom teeth often do not appear until a person’s late teens or early twenties. They are a very strong and sturdy type of molar.
These teeth were once useful in prehistoric times. They helped in grinding foraged food like roots, or tough meats that would break or wear away the more delicate teeth at the front of your mouth.
Wisdom teeth are less useful now and they pose more of a burden to people in modern times.
Wisdom teeth often cause pain in the years they take to fully grow in. They can crowd your jawline, grow sideways and lead to infection.
Many people choose to remove their wisdom teeth. Although it is not always necessary, it is generally recommended.
Why Should I Get My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Most people’s wisdom teeth begin to grow in their teen years, but they are not developed until the early to mid twenties. You can get your wisdom teeth removed at any age. It is best to do it before they become a problem.
Many people do not experience problems related to these teeth at all, yet overtime they can become troublesome. After your wisdom teeth have grown in, it is a good idea to come in for a consultation.
This way, your dentist can see if they fit well with the rest of your teeth. They can determine whether it would be a good idea to have them removed.
Reasons Why We Extract Wisdom Teeth:
People often do not have anything wrong with their wisdom teeth when they choose to remove them.
Wisdom tooth extraction is more often seen as a preventative procedure. Wisdom teeth can cause a lot of damage in the mouth if they are not watched.
This is because they are very difficult to clean and are often completely or partially covered with gum tissue. This combination is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria that can accumulate over time or get worse in times of stress, when your immune system is weaker.
For this reason, many choose to remove them, so they do not have to deal with the common consequences:
Wisdom Teeth Can Crowd Your Other Teeth
As we mentioned, one of the main reasons why people have their wisdom teeth removed is because they can crowd your other teeth.
Wisdom teeth grow in much later that your other adult teeth. You can have a full set of teeth that appear perfectly aligned, but once wisdom teeth grow in, they can push your other teeth out of the way.
This can be bad, especially if you have suffered from misaligned teeth in the past. If you do not remove your wisdom teeth in a case like this, you risk having a crooked smile, or overcrowded mouth.
They Are Hard To Clean
Your dentist can clean your teeth, but not everyone has the dental tools needed for a professional cleaning every day.
Electric toothbrushes have made it easier to gage whether you are cleaning your teeth thoroughly. But with wisdom teeth, they are so far back in your mouth that, even with a toothbrush, they can gather plaque.
They can be very hard to reach with dental floss, especially if they haven’t fully grown in yet.
People choose to have their wisdom teeth removed in this case because a lack of cleaning can lead to infections and tooth decay. This will often go unnoticed until the tooth becomes sore.
Besides being hard to reach, wisdom teeth often do not fit on a person’s jaw line. Despite crowding, this can lead to more serious problems.
Often a small piece of gum tissue gets left behind on the partially emerged wisdom tooth. Food and bacteria can collect here and cause infection and even abscessing. The bacteria causing your infection can also spread to other parts of your body.
Your wisdom teeth are the last teeth to grow in and there is often not enough space for them once they arrive. They can grow in sideways or on a slant.
This can be because they don’t have enough room or get cramped in next to your other teeth. In cases like this where the tooth is sideways or on an angle, it is best to have it removed.
Types of Extractions
You do not need to get all your wisdom teeth removed. You can talk with your dentist to determine the best option for your specific case. It may be that only one of the teeth poses a potential problem.
Often times, you may only need the top or bottom teeth removed. If you only have crowding at the top of your mouth for example, you may only need those wisdom teeth taken out.
A full extraction is still the most common procedure. It is when your dentist removes all four of your wisdom teeth at the top and bottom of your mouth.
Before Wisdom Tooth Removal
This procedure happens at our dental office. In some cases, for general wisdom tooth removal, a dentist may want to perform the procedure in a hospital. At LA Dental Clinic we can do the surgery in house.
You can have the surgery performed under general or local anaesthetic. Under general anaesthetic you will be unconscious for the duration of the procedure.
Local anaesthetic will make sure that your mouth is numb so that you do not feel any pain, but you will be awake and responsive for the procedure.
During The Procedure
The procedure is simple. Your dentist will cut the gum around the tooth and remove the entire tooth and root from the jaw.
If the tooth is large or deeply set into the jaw, your dentist will cut the tooth into smaller parts to extract separately. This happens for each wisdom tooth that you want to remove.
Your dentist will then stitch the gums up and apply gauze to prevent bleeding. You will be free to leave on the same day after surgery.
You will not be able to drive after the procedure due to the use of anaesthetic, so be sure to plan a ride ahead of time.
After Wisdom Tooth Removal
After the surgery you will experience swelling. This is often noticed in your gums and cheeks. You will not be able to chew solid food for around a week after the surgery.
This ensures that your gums heal properly. You will need to be careful with cleaning your teeth while the gums are healing. Food caught in the gum while it is healing can cause infection and complications.
You will have stitches that will dissolve in your mouth over time (1-2 weeks) as the gum tissue heals.
You can experience light bleeding in the area around where the surgery was performed. This is normal, but a large amount of bleeding is not and you should see your dentist.
Take it easy during your healing period. If you cannot miss a day of work, try to schedule your tooth removal before a weekend or break. This will ensure that you have some time to recover.
After the surgery your dentist may instruct you to take over the counter pain medication. If the pain after surgery is very bad, your dentist can prescribe prescription medication.
You can use an ice pack to help reduce swelling, and gargle with salt water.
What Can I Eat After The Procedure?
Your mouth will need time to heal after your wisdom tooth removal surgery. You need to be very careful about what you eat after surgery, you do not want to displace any stitches or disrupt the healing process.
It is a good idea to eat foods that are soft or liquid, that don’t require chewing.
This surgery will affect everyone differently and everyone will heal at different rates. It is best to give your mouth a week to heal with these softer foods, before you begin chewing again.
Some meal ideas include:
- Icecream or frozen yogurt
- Mashed vegetables
- Mashed potatoes
Try to avoid food that requires chewing or has small seeds. These could get stuck in your stitches. When you drink do not use a straw as the suction motion can be enough to shift or displace any fresh stitches. Use ice packs against your cheeks to reduce any swelling!
Wisdom Tooth Removal Prices
With wisdom tooth extractions we price each individual tooth separately. This is because some people may only need one tooth removed.
The price for one tooth can range between $150 – $600. It depends on many factors including the size of the tooth as well as the position of the tooth.
Your dentist may have to break the tooth up into smaller pieces to remove everything. In cases like this the price may be higher as it is a more complex procedure.
The cost of sedation is not included in the tooth pricing. You can reference the sedation pages to see the general price range for that at LA Dental Clinic.