OTAY LAKES DENTAL ARTS
Chula Vista Oral Surgery
WISDOM TOOTH REMOVAL
Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars to grow, usually in your late teens or early twenties. They emerge in the four back corners of your mouth, with two on top and two on the bottom. It’s believed that early humans relied on their wisdom teeth to grind raw plant tissue and other tough foods. Early humans probably had more enormous jaws, allowing more room for the third molars to grow comfortably.
Impacted wisdom tooth removal is standard today because most adults experience discomfort, crowding, and difficulties as their final back molars erupt. Five million people have their wisdom teeth removed every year. Schedule an appointment with Otay Lakes Dental Arts to safely remove your wisdom teeth.
HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU HAVE AN IMPACTED WISDOM TOOTH?
- Misaligned wisdom teeth trap food and cavity-causing bacteria
- Pain, swelling, and stiffness in the jaw
- Changes to surrounding teeth, including shifting and crowding
- Damage to roots of nearby teeth or bone
- Unpleasant taste or odor in your mouth
- Difficulty opening your mouth
- Tender or bleeding gum
WHAT IS ORAL AND MAXILLOFACIAL SURGERY?
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is a specialized branch of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of various conditions related to the face, jaw, mouth, and teeth.
- Teeth Injuries
- Impacted Teeth
- Jaw Disorders
Our dentists are trained to perform procedures that involve injuries to your teeth, extractions and tooth removal for wisdom teeth and impacted teeth, and addressing jaw disorders that may cause sleep apnea. These procedures may include tooth extractions, dental implant placement, corrective jaw treatment, and more. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery requires extensive training and expertise in both dentistry and surgery. Surgery in this field is done by dentists with additional training after dental school who work closely with other dental and medical professionals to provide comprehensive care to patients.
REMOVAL AND RECOVERY
The wisdom teeth extraction process is a safe, standard procedure every day across the country. If you plan to get Invisalign after wisdom teeth removal, you’ll need to wait a few weeks for your mouth to heal. Here are the steps you can expect for wisdom tooth removal and recovery:
- Local anesthesia or conscious sedation prevents pain, discomfort, and anxiety.
- Your dental specialist removes the tissue and bone surrounding all four wisdom teeth.
- Wisdom teeth are extracted from their sockets.
- Stitches close each extraction site.
- If you opt to use oral conscious sedation like laughing gas, you won’t remember your wisdom teeth removal surgery or feel any pain.
- Recovery lasts about three to five days. You can expect slight bleeding and swelling during the first 24 hours, and your jaw may feel stiff after the anesthesia wears off. Fortunately, standard over-the-counter pain medications can reduce your symptoms and provide relief.
AFTER-CARE INSTRUCTIONS FOR TOOTH REMOVAL
- If antibiotics are prescribed, use as recommended
- Eat soft foods
- Avoid spicy foods, tobacco, and alcohol
- Rest and give the area time to heal
- Gum tissue heals after three to four weeks. You’ll feel as good as new!
DEALING WITH DRY SOCKETS
Dry sockets are the most common complication of wisdom teeth removal. A dry socket develops when a blood clot in the surgical site becomes dislodged, exposing portions of nerves and bones. This is a painful throbbing sensation that quickly leads to inflammation and infection.
Most dry sockets occur 3-5 days after surgery and can last up to a week before healing. The good news, at least, is that dry sockets are easy to treat. Your dentist will clean the socket, pack it with gauze and medicated gel, and advise you to clean it at home with saltwater.
You can reduce your risk of dry sockets by avoiding tobacco, carefully caring for your mouth after surgery, and following your dentist’s recommendations.
WE’RE JUST A CALL AWAY
After your wisdom tooth extraction, we’ll provide you with written home care instructions reviewing how to care for your extraction site and clean your mouth. We’ll also verbally discuss what you should do before returning home. Even then, we know that any type of oral surgery can be a little distracting, so we will call you to follow up later that day or the next.