Located in the Centerville, VA area, Dr. Georges Traboulsi, DDS of the Dulles Dental Group, offers treatment and extraction of wisdom teeth to ensure healthy and beautiful teeth alignment.
Wisdom Teeth Q & A
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
The wisdom teeth are the third and last molars (upper and lower) in the permanent teeth. People aren’t generally born with wisdom teeth; the teeth begin to grow when people are in their late teens to early 20's. Some people don’t develop wisdom teeth at all, which is perfectly normal. In many cases, wisdom teeth erupt and grow normally without any problems.
Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Extracted?
Sometimes, wisdom teeth don’t have enough room to grow. Instead of growing straight, they may grow sideways which may put pressure on other teeth and cause misalignment. These are called impacted wisdom teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause headaches, jaw pain, and swelling and redness in the gums. Because they are hard to clean, they can be a source of tooth decay and gum disease. Some dentists recommend removing them for that reason even if they aren’t impacted.
What’s the Wisdom Tooth Extraction Procedure Like?
Removing the wisdom teeth is a surgical procedure. The periodontist will give patients some form of anesthesia (local, intravenous sedation and general anesthesia). Then the periodontist makes an incision (cut) in the gum tissue, which exposes both the tooth and the bone, and it removes any bone that might be blocking access to the tooth. Depending on the size and condition of the tooth, the periodontist may break it into several pieces or extract it in one piece, clean the area, stitch it if necessary, and place gauze over the area to control bleeding.
What About Aftercare?
If patients had intravenous sedation or general anesthesia, they need to recover before going home to rest for the remainder of the day. Patients need to keep the gauze in place until the bleeding stops and a blood clot forms. Pain medication and ice packs help control the pain. Drink lots of water but avoid hot drinks, caffeine, carbonated beverages and alcohol for the first 24 hours. Rinse the mouth and use mouthwash or warm salt water for the first day or so. Patients may need to return in a week to 10 days to remove the stitches.