Wisdom Teeth Removal
in Anchorage For Eagle River & Wasilla
By the age of 18, the average adult has 32 teeth; 16 teeth on the top and 16 teeth on the bottom. Each tooth in the mouth has a specific name and function. The teeth in the front of the mouth (incisors, canine, and bicuspid teeth) are ideal for grasping and biting food into smaller pieces. The back teeth (molar teeth) are used to grind food up into a consistency suitable for swallowing.
The average mouth is made to hold only 28 teeth. It can be painful when 32 teeth try to fit in a mouth that holds only 28 teeth. These four other teeth are your third molars, also known as wisdom teeth.
Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. When they align properly and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not generally happen. The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum, and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as they attempt to find a pathway that will allow them to successfully erupt.
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These poorly positioned impacted teeth can cause many problems. When they have partially erupted, the opening around the teeth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The result: swelling, stiffness, pain, and illness. The pressure from the erupting wisdom teeth may move other teeth and disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment of teeth. The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Removal of the offending impacted teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.
With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, Dr. Szutz can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there are present or potential future problems. Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment result in a superior outcome for the patient. Patients are generally first evaluated in the mid-teenage years by their dentist, orthodontist or by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under local anesthesia, in conjunction with intravenous sedation. These options, as well as the surgical risks (e.g., sensory nerve damage, sinus complications), will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed. Once the teeth are removed, the gum may be sutured. To help control bleeding, bite down on the gauze placed in your mouth. You will rest under our supervision in the office until you are ready to be taken home. Upon discharge, your post-operative kit will include post-operative instructions, extra gauze if necessary, a prescription for pain medication, and a follow-up appointment in one week to check for normal healing. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at Alaska Oral Surgery Group Phone Number 907-278-5678.
Our services are provided in an environment of optimum safety that utilizes modern monitoring equipment and staff who are experienced in anesthesia techniques.
FAQ about Wisdom Teeth Removal
Is wisdom tooth removal painful?
Post-operative discomfort is expected after a surgical procedure. Dr. Szutz administers the form of sedation you’ve chosen ahead of time and makes sure you’re fully comfortable before proceeding with surgery. A sensation of sleepiness will continue for several hours after the extraction has been completed, and we will send you home with a pain management plan so any discomfort can be minimized.
Possible symptoms after Surgery: Dry Socket
Complications following wisdom teeth removal are rare and largely avoidable. Dry socket occurs when the blood clot in the extraction site become dislodged or doesn’t develop properly, and this can be painful. Dry socket normally results from smoking and straw use, improper home care, and unknown infections. If you think you have symptoms of dry socket, please call us right away. They usually occur a few days after surgery and may include:
• Significant pain radiating to the ear, cheek, etc.
• Bad breath or unpleasant taste in the mouth.
• Visible bone or an empty-looking socket.
What to expect during wisdom teeth surgery?
The first step in the wisdom teeth removal process is scheduling a consultation with us. Once we’ve gathered X-rays and a clear picture of the positioning of your teeth, we will create a customized treatment plan for the extraction of your third molars. We’ll provide you with very specific pre- and post-surgical instructions that we recommend you read and follow closely. Details matter when it come to a speedy and smooth recovery.
Before surgery, fast for the 8 hours prior. And when you arrive, make sure to have a parent or responsible adult present to drive you home. We won’t get started unless you have a ride arranged.
During surgery, you’ll be anesthetized, comfortable, and less ware of what’s happening if you are sedated. The length of your procedure depends on the unique details of your case, but our wisdom teeth removals typically take about an hour.
After surgery, you’ll feel sleepy and maybe numb in your jaw which is all a common part of the healing process. Plan to do nothing for the rest of the day except rest and focus on your recovery. Liquids and eventually soft foods, like ice cream, should be the menu for the day. And be sure to avoid using straws and tobacco because they can dislodge the clot that is covering the extraction site, resulting in dry socket.
We highly recommend you read the after-care instructions we provide for you. This will make your recovery process much easier. Once home, place an ice pack on your cheek, 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off. Soreness after surgery can be managed with over the counter pain medications.