|Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Some patients have anxiety over getting a tooth extracted. It is quite natural to be a little nervous, however in many cases tooth extraction becomes a necessity. The medical term for tooth extraction is “exodontia.” Whether a patient has experienced an injury or is dealing with the effects of periodontal disease, we can address your extraction needs. The most frequently needed extraction occurs to the wisdom teeth. Obviously, we attempt to save the tooth by applying other treatment options but after all other options are exhausted, we are more than willing to discuss the extraction process with you to set your mind at ease.
While wisdom teeth removal is one of the most widely performed dental procedures, many people do not get wisdom teeth. For the patients who do get them, they tend to begin erupting around the age of 17. While some patients have them erupt correctly without interfering with any of the adjacent teeth and disrupting tooth alignment, others are not quite so lucky. Due to their placement and the nature that most patient’s mouths are not designed to have that many teeth erupt, wisdom teeth can become a nuisance and cause a myriad of problems for a lot of people.
Dr. Hanbit Chi and his dental team at Alki Dental are always available to discuss the impact wisdom teeth might have on your mouth. Reach out to us today to get the dialog started to find out the available options.
When Do Wisdom Teeth Begin to Erupt?
The vast majority of patients who have wisdom teeth can expect them to begin erupting in their late teens. If they have been routinely getting professional cleanings and exams, our staff have been tracking them and their potential for eruption. While wisdom teeth are made to develop naturally and erupt as other normal adult teeth do, many times an extraction is required.
In the majority of patients with wisdom teeth, there is simply not adequate space for them to erupt and come in without causing complications to other teeth. The existing teeth become accustomed to their existing positions and do not want to make space for the newcomers.
There are times when a wisdom tooth can become impacted as it begins to erupt. This can happen due to a lack of space in the oral cavity. It often causes the tooth to only erupt partially, making only a small piece of it visible. In other cases, it might never break through the gums. When they fail to erupt, they need to be extracted before they affect the other teeth.
Why Remove My Wisdom Teeth?
Serious complications can arise if the impacted teeth are not removed. Despite there not being enough room for the tooth to erupt, it will do its best to do so. This can mean it comes in at a bad angle and damages the mandible or interferes with the nearby teeth, causing pain and discomfort.
There are times where the angle is so severe, the teeth can come in perpendicular to the rest of the teeth. In other cases, they might try to break through the roof of the mouth because there is no space available to them along the jawbone.
All of these make for a more difficult extraction process. It should be noted, the earlier the assessment and treatment course recommended, the less likely any of these more extreme cases will occur.
Types of Extractions
There are two types of tooth extractions. Both kinds of extractions involve pulling the tooth from the supportive gums. A simple extraction is exactly as it sounds, quite easy and straightforward and a very common procedure in the dental field. A local anesthetic is applied to the gums and tooth. This is done to desensitize the area for a pain-free procedure. The tooth is removed by applying gentle, constant pressure to pull it free.
Though the other type of extraction is more involved, the surgical extraction applies the same principles. The same type of anesthetic is used prior to making an incision along the gums where the tooth will be removed. This is done when the tooth is either deeply embedded or fully impacted into the jawbone. In some cases, the tooth may need to be split up into smaller, more manageable pieces in order to be fully extracted. In most cases, the wisdom teeth require a surgical extraction. Sedation is needed in order to keep the patient calm and relaxed during the procedure. A few days may be necessary to recover from a surgical extraction.
If gum disease is discovered during the initial exam, an extraction will be recommended for the treatment. This is to remove the infected tooth so the infection will not spread to other teeth and tissues in the mouth.
Is an Extraction Restorative Dentistry?
Even centuries ago, tooth extractions were performed. If a patient complained of pain in the tooth or had obvious signs of decay or disease, the solution was always to simply pull the tooth. Obviously, the methods by which this is done now are completely modernized with little chance of infection or disease. We will oftentimes recommend the patient maintain a soft diet and a significant amount of rest in order to jumpstart the healing process. By stimulating healing in this fashion, patients will be satisfied with the results. While patients should keep brushing, they will need to be extremely careful around the extraction site.
Extraction can seem dramatic as an alternative to treating tooth pain but in many cases when patients are suffering from significant pain or have had their teeth damaged in an accident or by poor care, it might be the only solution available. Wisdom teeth extraction is quite common in the dental community and is easy to perform. In many cases, it is the best course of treatment. If you are experiencing tooth pain associated with wisdom teeth or to find out more about wisdom tooth extractions, please come see Dr. Hanbit Chi and the dental team here at Alki Dental. We can determine what needs to be done to address your dental health needs. Give us a call at 206-791-2020 to set up your appointment today.