Dr. Joseph M. Larsen, DMD

Extractions

Extractions

If it is time for you or one of your children to have their wisdom teeth removed you can rest assured that it is a very common procedure that we have many years of experience performing successfully. Emerging wisdom teeth can become inflamed and painful. Sometimes wisdom teeth can become impacted which means that they cannot push through the surface of the gums because they are coming in at a bad angle. As you can imagine impacted wisdom teeth can be a very painful experience.

Additionally a partially impacted wisdom tooth, which pushes only slightly through the gum line, can be nearly impossible to keep clean. Food can easily get trapped in that space creating problems with infection and decay. Swelling from this type if infection is also painful to experience.

This is why you have likely been counseled to have your wisdom teeth removed. It is best to avoid the inconvenient pain and overall hassle of dealing with these pesky teeth. Wisdom tooth extraction is one of our specialties and we will provide you with all the support you need to have a successful experience with minimal discomfort. You can discuss with the doctor concerning local or general anesthetic depending on the position and condition of your wisdom teeth. You can also choose to be sedated during the procedure.

Extraction of the tooth begins with the gums around the tooth being cut open in order to get to the tooth easily. A device will be used to grab hold of the tooth, allowing it to be forced back and forth until it breaks loose and comes out. Occasionally complications arise when a wisdom tooth is severely impacted and cannot be easily removed from the jaw. When this happens the tooth will likely need to be broken into smaller pieces, which can be removed one at a time. If there needs to be more extensive measures taken there may end up being a few more sutures afterward. The stitches are made to be soluble which means they self dissolve over time.
Having your wisdom teeth removed is an oral surgical procedure requiring time afterward for rest and recovery. After you are done you will be in no shape to drive yourself home so be sure to have someone there who can bring you back home when you are done. It is expected that you will have some bleeding from the extraction and you will need to bite down on gauze, which will need to be changed regularly when it is fully soaked with blood. The bleeding should slow down significantly within the first 24 hours and if it does not you need to let us know right away. One way to slow the bleeding down is to avoid lying completely flat, rather prop your head on a pillow as you take is easy for at least 24 hours. Your dentist will likely provide you with specific instructions on how to clean the extraction sites and send you home with pain medication. Ice can also be used to help control any pain or swelling in the jaw.

One important thing to remember is that you should never drink with a straw because it interferes with the clotting process and causes complications. It is also critical to avoid sucking in any smoke from a cigarette, as this will also interfere with the healing process. If you do not feel that you are healing properly you can give us a call to discuss any symptoms and give you recommendations.

Your diet will be limited to soft foods only for a few days after the tooth extraction. This means you need to eat foods that do not require any chewing such as:

Mashed Potatoes
Applesauce
Jello
Pudding
Thin soups
Icecream
Yogurt

If you have any other questions regarding what to expect from a tooth extraction feel free to call our office today.