Wisdom Tooth Extractions – Greenbelt, MD
Safe, Comfortable Wisdom Tooth Extractions
The knowledgeable dentists at McCarl Dental Group have been helping Greenbelt families keep their smiles healthy for decades, and whenever possible, that includes preserving healthy, natural teeth. When tooth extractions are necessary, as is often the case with wisdom teeth, we can successfully remove the teeth in total comfort with minimal impact on your daily life. We recommend our young patients receive a wisdom tooth screening as part of their dental checkups starting around the age of ten. We will keep track of the development of wisdom teeth and recommend extractions when necessary. Read below to find out a little bit about wisdom teeth and the tooth extraction process. If you have questions or want to schedule a consultation to learn more about options for wisdom tooth extractions in Greenbelt, call McCarl Dental Group today.
Why Choose McCarl Dental Group for Wisdom Tooth Extractions?
- Safe, comfortable surgical and nonsurgical tooth extractions
- Team of skilled professionals make every treatment easier
- Patients of all ages welcome
What are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are actually a third set of molars that develop and erupt from gum line in the late teens and early 20s. Molars are the large teeth in the back of the mouth that are used to chew and grind food. Our early ancestors had to eat a very coarse diet and had little to no means of caring for their teeth. For this reason, wisdom teeth developed later in life to replace molars that were likely damaged or lost. Today, most people have a more easily consumed diet and better oral health. This means most people don’t need a third set of molars at this point in their life.
Why are Wisdom Teeth Removed So Often?
Because of the improved oral health, people in their late teens and twenties don’t usually need another set of molars. Worse, most people’s mouths do not have the extra space to accommodate the additional teeth. When wisdom teeth begin to erupt, they can shift your healthy smile out of position, cause severe tooth and jaw pain, and if they’re unable to fully erupt, the teeth are at increased risk for decay. For these reasons, we often recommend wisdom tooth extraction to prevent unnecessary damage to healthy teeth or shifting of the smile’s alignment.
How are Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth can either be pulled or surgically extracted. Pulling is only possible if a tooth is fully erupted from the gum line. We can use numbing medication and/or sedation to ensure your comfort. Then, we use clasps to shift the tooth until it can be broken free from the socket. If we can’t pull the tooth, we’ll need to surgically remove it. A surgical extraction may involve simply cutting away soft tissue to reveal additional tooth structure, but these procedures can be more complex for teeth that have developed at an angle, those that are impacted (unable to erupt), and those that damage the surrounding teeth. Before we begin these procedures, we utilize state-of-the-art x-ray systems to ensure we have a complete picture of your dental structures, and we can precisely and completely remove the tooth as quickly and comfortably as possible.
What Happens After Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
Following wisdom tooth extraction, your dentist will provide you with a detailed list of postoperative instructions to ensure your best chances for a quick and comfortable recovery. Some of the basics to keep in mind include:
- First 48 hours: don’t eat any solid foods, avoid drinking with a straw, use ice packs at 20 minute intervals to reduce swelling, and take pain medications as directed. You will also need to remove and replace sterile gauze over your extraction site regularly to reduce risk of infection and dry socket. Carefully brush and floss healthy teeth, avoiding the extraction site.
- First week: after the first two days you should begin to introduce soft foods into your diet as you feel comfortable and continue to take your pain medications as directed. When bleeding stops at the extraction site, you can stop placing gauze. You should also forego using ice packs after the first two days. If swelling persists or increases, contact our team. Continue to brush and floss teeth, taking care to avoid the extraction site. In most cases, you can simply use cold water to rinse off the extraction site. If directed to do so, you may need to visit our dental office for a follow up to have the stitches removed from your surgical site.
- Second week: swelling and discomfort should be minimal. You should be able to eat a full range of foods without pain. Your extraction site should be almost healed at this point. If you notice swelling or increased discomfort after the first week, you should contact our dental office.