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.
Drs Hatcher, Merrell and Isharani 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
I recommend sedation, specifically IV sedation. It is better if you don’t hear those sounds and we can do the procedure faster when you have an IV in your arm.
How does it work?
We call it twilight sedation, and when you wake up it is done. It is a great way as it is not something that you will want to remember.
How often do you use it?
When I was an army dentist, we did it all the time, those were soldiers and tougher than your average patients.
When it comes to my daughter she is going to be sleeping for the procedure no doubt.
Wish to learn more about wisdom teeth, if so, call our Greensboro, North Carolina dental practice to schedule your initial consultation appointment- (336) 383-1482.
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
Dr. Steven Hatcher
Dr. Chad Merrell
Dr. Sona Isharani
Dr. Victoria Santiago-Coiro
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.