Oral Examination for Extraction of Wisdom Teeth
Drs. Jiries Mogannam, Dr. Vicente Chavez and Dr. Christopher Chow can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth by performing an oral examination and taking X-rays. Early evaluation and treatment of wisdom teeth result in a superior outcome, studies show. Generally, patients’ wisdom teeth are first evaluated in their mid-teens by a dentist, orthodontist or oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
Outpatient surgery is performed using appropriate anesthesia so the patient can be as comfortable as possible. Our oral surgeons and team are trained, licensed and experienced in providing our patients with various types of dental sedation.
Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
If there is not enough room in your mouth for your third molars (wisdom teeth) to erupt fully and properly, several issues can occur. We recommend that impacted wisdom teeth be removed before their roots have developed fully. In some patients, this may occur as early as 12 or 13 years of age, and in others, this may occur in their early 20s. Often, problems are the most likely after the age of 30. Some issues that may occur when the wisdom teeth are not removed include:
- Infection: The most common clinical problem that occurs when the wisdom teeth are not removed is pericoronitis (a localized gum infection). When there is not enough room for the third molars to erupt properly, the gums around the teeth can become infected and irritated. This can cause recurrent in discomfort, swelling, and difficulty with chewing and swallowing.
- Cyst Formation: Cysts, or fluid-filled sacs, may form inside the jawbone as a result of impacted teeth. These cysts can slowly expand, damaging the nearby jawbone and teeth. Cysts can be difficult to treat if your wisdom teeth are not removed in your teenage years. Though this is rare, delayed removal of wisdom teeth can also cause tumors.
- Possible Crowding: Impacted wisdom teeth can cause your other teeth to become crowded. This is most noticeable with the lower front teeth. Wisdom teeth can cause crowding even if you have had braces. Unless you already have an issue when you come to Sonoma County Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center, the reason to remove the third molars is to prevent long-term damage to your jawbone, gums and teeth.
- Damage to Adjacent Teeth: If there is not enough room to clean around a wisdom tooth properly, the adjacent tooth, the second molar, can become damaged. This can result in gum disease, tooth decay and bone loss around the tooth.
What If I Don’t Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed as a Teenager or Young Adult?
The roots become longer and the jawbone denser as the wisdom teeth develop. When impacted wisdom teeth are removed in your 30s or later, the healing process is often prolonged and there is a higher risk of complications. Treating any complications that arrive is often harder and less predictable than with a younger patient.
What Should I Expect the Day My Wisdom Teeth Are Removed?
Many people prefer to be sedated during wisdom teeth removal so they will be unaware of the experience. At your consultation, we will provide you with appropriate anesthesia options. All outpatient surgery is performed using an appropriate type of sedation to maximize your comfort. Our team is trained and experienced in providing various types of sedation.
Wisdom teeth removal in Santa Rosa, California, is performed in a safe environment, using modern monitoring equipment.
On the day of the procedure, take medications as prescribed by our oral surgeons to help minimize post-operative discomfort and swelling. Please have a parent or responsible adult drive you to and from your appointment. An adult should stay with you for the rest of the day, as well. Modern techniques allow wisdom teeth removal to be performed in a way that promotes rapid healing and minimal discomfort after the procedure. We incorporate state-of-the-art sterilization and infection control techniques.
If you choose sedation for your procedure, it is essential that you have nothing to eat or drink (except prescription medication with a sip of water) for at least six hours prior to treatment. Do not try to fit in one last meal six hours before your procedure. If there is anything in your stomach during surgery, the risk of anesthetic complications, including nausea and vomiting, can increase. If you do not follow the guidelines given you, your wisdom teeth removal will be rescheduled.
When you arrive for the procedure, we will help you feel as comfortable as possible. If you choose to be sedated, know that IV sedation is quick and nearly painless and will ensure optimal delivery of the medication. We will also administer local anesthesia to ensure your comfort. This also allows adequate time for you to arrive home after the procedure. You will be sleepy for most of the day.
If your wisdom teeth removal procedure requires stitches, we will likely use the type that dissolve in three to five days and that do not need to be removed. You may notice swollen gums and the feeling that they are pulling away from the teeth. This is a normal sensation and will lessen and cease in a few days.
Keep in mind that the local anesthesia may not wear off completely until the following day. The feeling of numbness should not be confused with a nerve injury. After your surgery, we recommend eating clear liquids like Jell-O and broths. Progress to solid foods slowly as your body permits.
If we recommend antibiotics and you take birth control pills, take into account that the birth control pills may become ineffective and take the appropriate precautions.
What Does Wisdom Tooth Removal Cost, and Is It Covered by Insurance?
The cost of wisdom teeth removal is determined by several factors. These factors include the difficulty in removing the teeth and which type of anesthesia is utilized. During your consultation, our oral surgeons will examine the area, review your X-rays and discuss sedation options so that a cost estimate can be provided. Keep in mind that each insurance company has different coverage for wisdom teeth removal. We will help you maximize your insurance coverage.
What If I Have Questions Before Surgery?
When you come in for your consultation, your specific needs will be discussed, and we can answer any questions that you may have. If you have any additional questions, please call our office at 707-566-7300.