Anthropologists believe that our wisdom teeth were the evolutionary answer to our ancestor’s rough, coarse diets. Many theorize that this third set of molars has become vestigial with the advent of eating utensils and a softer diet. This may be why many patients experience problems when their wisdom teeth erupt. At Tigard Family Dental, we provide wisdom tooth extractions to help avoid future complications with your mouth.
Why You May Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
Wisdom teeth typically erupt between the ages of 17 and 21, making them the last teeth to emerge. Since they are the last teeth to erupt, there is often not enough room left in the jaw to accommodate them. This can cause wisdom teeth to become impacted, or trapped beneath the gum tissue. Impacted teeth can cause swelling, tenderness, and pain.
Wisdom teeth are also prone to erupting in the wrong position. This is usually the result of a small ridge. If your wisdom teeth come in at an angle, they may be very difficult to properly brush and floss. They can also make it difficult to clean your other molars. This is known as crowding. Crowding can also lead to misalignments with your bite.
For these reasons and more, we may recommend extraction before they erupt. If they are allowed to erupt, they should be closely monitored, especially if there is evidence of:
Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Tooth extraction is a relatively routine procedure. Most wisdom teeth extractions involve a minor surgery because they have not yet erupted. Before the procedure, Dr. Robert McCullough will recommend some form of sedation, whether it be nitrous oxide, IV sedation, or general anesthesia. We will also numb the area using a local anesthetic such as Novocain. During the surgery, we will make an incision in the gum tissue to expose the teeth. In some cases, the teeth must be broken into sections during the removal process. Once the removal is complete, we will suture your incisions. We then pack the extractions sites with gauze to limit the bleeding. Most extractions usually take about 45 minutes.
After Your Extraction
For the first 24 hours after surgery there are several things you can expect:
After the first 24 hours, you can rinse your mouth with warm salt water to clean the area. Be sure to watch for signs of dry socket, a painful condition that occurs if a blood clot fails to form in the extraction site. Most people will be completely healed in a few weeks.
Schedule Your Consultation
Call (503) 968-2901 to schedule your consultation today!
Very friendly and Professional staff. I was impressed by the cleanliness. The staff is efficient and does excellent work. First time I've enjoyed going to the dentist and receiving dental care. Way to go Tigard Family Dental!