Wisdom teeth are associated with an array of oral health problems, including increased risks of decay and gum disease. Having your wisdom teeth removed is a proactive approach to preventing more serious problems down the road. As a leading family dentist in New Orleans, Dr. Ambrose Martin III is skilled in wisdom teeth extraction techniques aimed at helping patients at Gentilly Family Dental, LLC, enjoy better oral health now and in the future. To learn more about wisdom teeth extractions and to have your wisdom teeth examined, call the office or use our online system to book your appointment today.
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to emerge or erupt. They’re the molars located the farthest back toward your jaw joint, and their location makes them difficult to brush and floss. This means they’re far more likely to become decayed and diseased compared to other teeth. Plus, because it’s so difficult to keep your wisdom teeth clean, the gums around your wisdom teeth are more likely to act as reservoirs for the bacteria that cause gum disease, the leading cause of tooth loss among men and women in the United States.
Generally, the answer is yes. First, because wisdom teeth are the last teeth to emerge from your gums, most of the space in your mouth is already occupied by the time your wisdom teeth come in. That means they’re more likely to come in crooked or sideways or to be impacted (trapped beneath other teeth). All of these issues can cause pain and other problems, both with the wisdom teeth and with neighboring teeth.
Even when your wisdom teeth come in straight and don’t cause crowding issues, their location makes them extremely difficult to keep clean and free of tartar, plaque, and bacteria. If you don’t have them removed, the bacteria they harbor can cause other teeth to become decayed or diseased as well, which means they can contribute to additional cavities, gum disease, and even tooth loss.
Wisdom tooth extraction is performed using sedation to keep you completely comfortable. During the procedure, Dr. Martin uses special instruments to gently elevate the tooth from its socket. In some cases, wisdom tooth extraction involves making small incisions into the gum. If that happens, Dr. Martin closes the incisions using tiny sutures to help the gum tissue heal over the incision site. For very complex extractions, he may refer you to an oral surgeon. Before your extraction, Dr. Martin uses X-rays to assess your tooth and map out your treatment.
Once your wisdom teeth are extracted, it’s typical to experience discomfort for a few days. You can manage discomfort with pain medication and by applying cold packs to your cheeks. Dr. Martin provides all patients with detailed information on how to manage discomfort and how to care for the area while it heals, including tips on brushing and what types of food to avoid during the very early stages of healing.
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