Wisdom Tooth Extractions Greenbelt

Safe, Comfortable Wisdom Tooth Extractions

Woman talking to her dentist about wisdom tooth extractions in Greenbelt

Preserving healthy, natural teeth remains one of the many goals of our McCarl Dental Group, PC team. When tooth extractions are necessary, though, 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 10. We will keep track of the development of wisdom teeth and recommend extractions when they are 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, PC today.

Why Choose McCarl Dental Group, PC for Wisdom Tooth Extractions?

  • Dental treatment chair icon Surgical & nonsurgical tooth extractions
  • Three human figures icon Team of skilled professionals 
  • Person walking with a cane icon Patients of all ages welcome

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Dentist holding a denture while talking to a patient

Wisdom teeth are actually a third set of molars that develop and erupt from gumline in the late teens and early 20s. 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 that most people don’t need a third set of molars at this point in their life.

Why Are Wisdom Teeth Removed So Often?

Dentist showing a computer monitor to a patient

Because of 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 an increased risk of 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?

Senior man sitting in dental chair

Wisdom teeth can either be pulled or surgically extracted. Pulling is only possible if a tooth is fully erupted from the gumline. 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 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?

Woman in dental chair touching her teeth

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.