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Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Dentist Queen Anne Seattle

X-ray image of wisdom teeth at Queen Anne Family Dental. Wisdom teeth, or third molars, usually emerge during adolescence and early adulthood. This is generally between 17 and 25 years of age. While third molars were vital for our ancestors who consumed a stricter diet, today, they often pose problems because of dietary habits and jaw size changes. When wisdom teeth do not have enough space to erupt fully or emerge at an angle, they become impacted. If you suffer from impacted wisdom teeth, Queen Anne Family Dental can recommend effective solutions to prevent pain, swelling, infection, and damage to surrounding teeth. We recommend timely assessment by a dentist or oral surgeon to maintain optimum oral health and overall well-being.

What Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth?

As mentioned, impacted wisdom teeth occur when the third molars, or wisdom teeth, fail to emerge properly through the gums and into their proper position. This phenomenon is caused by insufficient space in the jaw or misalignment of the teeth. If you delay professional care or are impacted, wisdom teeth can grow at various angles, such as sideways, tilted, or even remain trapped within the jawbone. Even if impacted wisdom teeth are not an immediate concern, timely assessment by a dental professional is crucial to determine the appropriate course of action, such as extraction.

Why Do I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth removal is not always required, but dental professionals may recommend it for various reasons. Humans today do not have enough space in their mouths to accommodate third molars, causing impaction or alignment issues. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain, infection, and damage to surrounding teeth and bone. In addition, wisdom teeth are challenging to clean, increasing the risk of decay and gum disease. Given these potential complications, dentists may recommend removing wisdom teeth as a preventative measure to protect oral health and wellness.

The Wisdom Tooth Extraction Procedure

According to the American Dental Association, approximately 20 million people undergo wisdom tooth extraction annually. Removal is a viable option if you want an effective solution for impacted, overcrowded, or infected wisdom teeth. Here is what to expect during the removal process to ease anxiety and ensure a smoother recovery.

Preparing for the Extraction

Before the tooth removal procedure, your dentist or oral surgeon will conduct a thorough examination. This may include X-rays to assess the position of the wisdom teeth and any potential complications. Once the assessment is complete, they will develop a treatment plan tailored to your needs. Inform your dentist about any medications you are taking and any existing medical conditions.

Local Anesthesia and Sedation Options

Like most invasive procedures, wisdom tooth extractions are performed under local anesthesia, which numbs the area around require removal, or the extraction is complex. Your dentist may recommend sedation options such as laughing gas, oral sedatives, or intravenous (IV) sedation to help you relax. Dental specialists usually discuss anesthesia options with patients to ensure the most suitable one based on comfort level and the complexity of the extraction.

The Extraction Process

During the actual extraction, your dentist or oral surgeon will make an incision in the gum tissue to access the tooth and may remove bone mass for better access. We leverage specialized instruments to carefully loosen the tooth from its socket and remove it gently. Sometimes, dental specialists section wisdom teeth into smaller pieces for easier removal. Once the tooth is extracted, the area is cleaned, and the gum tissue is sutured before gauze is placed to control bleeding.

Post-Extraction Care and Recovery

After the procedure, your dentist will provide personalized post-extraction care instructions. While you are expected to experience mild swelling, discomfort, or bleeding in the days following the extraction, you can manage these effects with over-the-counter pain medication and ice packs applied to the cheek. Your dentist will also prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection. Like other complex procedures, avoiding strenuous activity, smoking, and drinking through a straw goes a long way to enhance healing. It is advisable to schedule follow-up appointments to address underlying concerns and recover fully.

FAQs About Wisdom Tooth Extraction

With wisdom tooth extraction becoming a popular dental procedure, asking questions before scheduling an appointment is essential. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions to help ease any anxieties.

How Long Does the Wisdom Tooth Extraction Procedure Take?

The duration of a wisdom tooth extraction procedure depends on various factors, such as the position of the tooth, the complexity of the procedure, and your overall oral health. A typical single wisdom tooth extraction takes between 30 to 60 minutes. However, the procedure may take longer if multiple teeth need removal or the extraction is complicated. Your dentist will provide a more accurate estimate based on your needs during your pre-extraction consultation.

Is Wisdom Tooth Removal Painful?

Dental extraction procedures are often associated with pain, which can be intimidating. However, the procedure is performed under local anesthesia to ensure you feel no pain. Your dentist will administer a numbing agent to the extraction site, blocking any sensation in the area. Additionally, sedation options such as nitrous oxide or IV can help you relax and feel more comfortable during the procedure. If you are taking medication that can react with anesthesia or sedation, the dental specialist will recommend the best course of action.

Will I Be Able to Drive Home After the Procedure?

In most cases, you should be able to drive yourself home after a wisdom tooth extraction, mainly if local anesthesia was used and you are not experiencing any significant drowsiness or impairment. If you receive sedation such as IV sedation, we recommend arranging for someone to drive you home as you may feel disoriented afterward. Following the advice of your dentist and avoiding driving if you feel groggy is essential to prevent safety hazards.

How Soon Can I Resume Normal Activities After the Extraction?

Recovery time after a wisdom tooth extraction varies from person to person, but many resume normal activities within a few days to a week following the procedure. It is essential to listen to your body and avoid strenuous activities or vigorous exercise during the initial stages of recovery to prevent complications such as bleeding. Follow the specific post-extraction care instructions personalized to your needs to promote optimal healing and recovery.

Wisdom tooth removal may seem daunting and painful, but our experts at Queen Anne Family Dental leverage advanced dental techniques and anesthesia to make the process more comfortable and efficient. Contact us at (206) 424-4450 and work closely with dental specialists to maintain a healthy and functional smile.

14 Boston Street, Seattle, WA 98109-2319

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(206) 424-4450



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Impacted Wisdom Teeth | Dentist Seattle, WA | Queen Anne Family Dental
At Queen Anne Family Dental, we specialize in wisdom teeth extractions to prevent or alleviate potential problems. Click here to learn more and give us a call!
Queen Anne Family Dental, 14 Boston Street, Seattle, WA 98109-2319 \ (206) 424-4450 \ \ 7/12/2024 \ Page Terms:dentist Queen Anne Seattle \