Gentle, straightforward extraction in Greensboro, NC now helps you to avoid wisdom teeth complications later

Not everyone develops wisdom teeth. But, for most of us, the development of the teeth at the very back of our mouths is considered to be a “rite of passage.” Often, these third molars start to erupt or break through the gum line around the time “wisdom” is being gained, between the ages of 17 and 25. While not inherently “bad,” wisdom teeth have a troublesome reputation because of complications related to how they develop. In fact, the American Dental Association reports 85% of wisdom teeth are removed. Dr. Steven Hatcher, along with the entire Triad Dentistry team, wants you to know wisdom teeth extraction at the Greensboro, NC office doesn’t represent a “loss” at all; in this case, tooth loss results in gains and is a “must” for healthy function, comfort, and quality of life.

“Why” wisdom teeth?

Like the appendix and tailbone, wisdom teeth are vestigial organs, which means they played important functional roles for our early human ancestors. As humans evolved, however, these organs no longer served a purpose. Our ancestors formerly had big, strong jaws to cut through fibrous plants and chewy, raw meats. Today, we don’t need such oversized and powerful jaws due to our softer diets. So, wisdom teeth represent interesting reminders of how people evolved. Unfortunately, while they’re not needed for easy and efficient chewing, like other vestigial organs, they can cause severe problems that affect our overall health and well-being due to their very presence.

“Why” extraction?

Drs Hatcher, Merrell, Isharani, and Coates take a preventive approach to dentistry. We emphasize monitoring the development of your (or your child’s) teeth during regular exams and cleanings at the Triad Dentistry office. That way, we identify problems early when they’re easiest to treat and before wisdom teeth cause pain, swelling, chronic bad breath, and other problems that indicate these molars aren’t developing as they should be; for instance, these teeth can remain partially or entirely underneath the gum tissue, a condition known as “impaction.” By the time these last molars form and appear in your mouth, the jaws simply don’t have enough room to accommodate them. When your wisdom teeth are impacted, they can grow:

  • At an angle toward the second molar next door
  • Angled toward the back of the mouth
  • At right angles, so the teeth “lay down” parallel to the jaw, rather than straight “up-and-down”

Triad Dentistry generally partners with patients to help them retain their natural teeth; however, wisdom teeth are an exception to that rule. Extractions of impacted wisdom teeth are necessary to not only avoid the discomfort and other symptoms associated with these troublesome molars but also to avoid serious complications. As the teeth attempt to erupt through the jawbone, they push up on the gums. This pressure results in radiating facial pain. Since impacted wisdom teeth are partially or fully “trapped” underneath the gums, they can wreak havoc on nearby teeth, causing damage to their neighbors and affecting alignment and “bite.” Gentle wisdom tooth extraction prevents pain and complications or provides much-needed relief for those patients who are dealing with symptoms that can make it impossible to eat, sleep, or even concentrate.

The straightforward approach to angled wisdom teeth

The procedure of removing wisdom teeth is common and uneventful. While there is nothing to fear from treatment, Dr. Hatcher welcomes discussing options for sedation to help you relax. He often recommends IV sedation. When the sedative is administered intravenously, the procedure can be completed quickly, and this approach also helps to eliminate many common “triggers” for dental fear (such as clinical sounds). Also known as “twilight sedation,” the IV approach allows you to wake up afterward with no recall of treatment. The area to be treated is also numbed with local anesthetic for utmost comfort during the procedure. After Dr. Hatcher assures you can’t feel anything, he will access the trouble tooth. If the tooth is impacted, he’ll do so through the bone. Techniques are used to loosen teeth for the easiest removal.

Post-treatment is where you come in; your dentist will go over clear instructions on how to assure your recovery is as trouble-free as the extraction itself! It’s extremely important to keep in mind that:

  •  It’s normal to see some blood, which can be minimized with damp gauze or a fresh tea bag applied to the extraction site.
  • A gentle swish of saltwater reduces inflammation, prevents infection, and speeds healing.
  • Sucking on straws or spitting and similar motions can dislodge the blood clot that forms where your tooth used to be, a painful condition known as dry socket.
  • Swelling can be controlled with a bag of ice or cold compress, applied in 30-minute intervals with breaks in-between.
  • Chewy, hard, and very hot foods and drinks can interfere with healing. So, follow your doctor’s dietary suggestions for the hours following treatment. Your doctor will also advise on when to resume exercise and sports.
  • Every patient heals a little differently. We’ll schedule a follow-up appointment with you to evaluate that your healing is moving right along.

Wisdom Teeth Extractions explained by Dr. Steven Hatcher

Wisdom Teeth Extractions explained by Dr. Steven Hatcher
Dr. Steven Hatcher from Triad Dentistry Greenboro, NC explains how he uses sedation for wisdom teeth extractions at his practice. To learn more about Wisdom teeth extractions and other procedures by Dr. Steven Hatcher call Triad Dentistry Greenboro NC today!
Video Transcript

Take action now to avoid wisdom tooth problems later. Call (336) 383-1482 to schedule your appointment at Triad Dentistry in Greensboro, NC.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: WISDOM TEETH

No. Every patient is different. Some patients may experience problems with developing wisdom teeth as pre-teens, whereas others may not have trouble with these back teeth until they’re older adults. Still, others never develop wisdom teeth!
Wisdom teeth are a type of molar. Like the other molars and premolars, many people develop all four teeth – two on each side of their mouth, at all four corners. Some people don’t develop all four, and may only develop one wisdom tooth.
Not at all. If, as we monitor the development of your teeth, they are growing healthily and are positioned correctly, there is no need to perform what would be an “unnecessary” extraction.
There are characteristic symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth; however, they do overlap with other dental and even sinus conditions. Triad Dentistry won’t know for sure what is causing your pain, swelling, and other problems until we evaluate your mouth and use diagnostics to pinpoint the source.
Teeth that don’t break through the gums, or that erupt only partially, can produce debilitating pain and pressure. Additionally, these “trapped” teeth push up against neighboring teeth, causing damage to second molars and crowding.
For wisdom teeth that develop properly, care for them as you would your other teeth with consistent oral hygiene. Since molars are in hard-to-reach places, they tend to be decay-prone. Impacted wisdom teeth can present challenges to proper care, as they promote food traps that increase your risk of decay and gum disease.
Triad Dentistry appreciates that you may be anxious extractions; however, treatment is designed to resolve and prevent pain – not to cause it. The tooth is thoroughly numbed, and we often recommend that calming sedatives be administered intravenously. Medication is safe, takes effect quickly, and afterward patients have no recall of treatment.
We’ll go over what to expect before, during, and after treatment with you. As sedatives can make you drowsy, it’s important to arrange for someone to drop you off and pick you up after your appointment.
How you heal depends on factors such as the complexity of your treatment, as well as characteristics such as your age. Follow the instructions provided by your dentist for healthy and speedy healing.
Bleeding and swelling are normal, and can be managed with icing and pain relievers as advised by your dentist. Dry socket is one of the biggest complications associated with extractions. Anything that aggravates the blood clot at the extraction site, such as drinking through a straw, can dislodge the clot. Exposed bone and nerves are vulnerable to infection that produces severe and radiating pain.
Dr. Hatcher image

Triad Dentistry

Dr. Steven Hatcher

A graduate from the University of North Carolina, Dr. Hatcher majored in biology and completed his undergraduate studies there. At UNC, he was awarded a cancer research grant from the National Institutes of Health after which he graduated from dental school.

Dr. Hatcher is a passionate and driven professional who strives to preserve and enhance natural beauty in every dental treatment. He is keen on developing an individualist approach when it comes to treating his patients to ensure patient care is a tailor-made experience for the comfort of each client.

Wisdom teeth may be a rite of passage for many, but they don’t have to cause you pain. Triad Dentistry identifies problems with these back teeth early. So, they can be removed proactively. Schedule your appointment at the office of Steven L. Hatcher, DDS in Greensboro, NC. Call (336) 383-1482.