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Wisdom TeethMost of our permanent molars erupt between the ages of six and seven. Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last teeth to erupt. These teeth usually emerge between the ages of 16 and 20. Because wisdom teeth are the last to erupt, there is often not enough room left in the jaw to properly accommodate them. For this reason, we here at Crafton Dental usually recommend extraction. Extraction of wisdom teeth can prevent potential problems and improve your oral health.
Problems with Wisdom TeethEvery patient is different, but most wisdom teeth either erupt in the wrong position or become impacted. As the wisdom teeth erupt, they can make it more difficult to clean and floss your other molars. In other words, they can crowd or damage the neighboring teeth. When they are not in the right position, they can also trap food and bacteria, increasing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
If they only partially erupt, they give bacteria a place to enter the gum tissue. This may lead to pain, swelling, and infection. Wisdom teeth become impacted when there is no room left for them to erupt. Impacted teeth can lead to severe pain, swelling, tenderness, infection, cysts, and tumors.
Wisdom Teeth ExtractionThe extraction procedure varies, depending on your circumstance. Generally speaking, there are two types of extractions: simple and complex. Both procedures involve the use of local anesthetic to numb the area, which reduce pain and discomfort. A local anesthetic may also be used with sedation. The sedation method we use depends on the extent of your procedure and your level of anxiety.
A simple extraction is reserved for wisdom teeth that have already erupted. During the procedure, Dr. Lisa Crafton will use a tool known as an elevator to loosen the tooth from connective ligaments, gum tissue, and the underlying bone. Once the tooth is loose, we will use forceps to remove it from the socket. Next, we will pack the area with gauze to reduce swelling and bleeding.
A surgical extraction is reserved for wisdom teeth that have yet to erupt above the gum tissue. During the procedure, Dr. Lisa Crafton will make a small incision in the gums to expose the tooth. Next, we may break the tooth into several pieces, making it easier to remove. Once the tooth is completely removed, we will suture the incision. This process is repeated for each wisdom tooth.
After your procedure, you will receive a set of post-operative instructions. In some cases, we may also prescribe pain medication or antibiotics. Follow your instructions to reduce your chances of developing postoperative complications. Generally speaking, tooth extractions are low-risk procedures.
Keeping Your Wisdom TeethFor some patients, extraction may not be necessary. We will closely monitor wisdom teeth that remain in the mouth. During your regular checkups, we will make sure that your wisdom teeth are not putting you at risk for potential problems. As people get older, the risk can increase. Be sure to implement strong oral hygiene practices, especially targeting these areas, to maintain proper oral health.
Schedule a ConsultationIf you would like to learn more about wisdom teeth and the services we provide, call (410) 381-5030 and schedule a consultation appointment now!
Crafton Dental - 10380 Old Columbia Rd, Suite 102, Columbia, MD 21046 - (410) 381-5030
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