Dentist in Indianapolis, IN explains surgical extraction for a wisdom tooth
Dr. Matthew Church is the primary dentist at Washington Street Dentistry in Indianapolis, IN and is readily available to assist patients in and around the community with a variety of procedures, including surgical wisdom tooth extraction. The wisdom teeth are the last teeth to develop within the smile and erupt through the gum line. These teeth, known as the third molars, also have a history of being extremely problematic. Because of this, many dentists advise patients to have them extracted when they become an issue.
Why are wisdom teeth an issue?
Because wisdom teeth are the last to erupt through the gum line, they sometimes don’t always have the space to do so. Many patients have overcrowding that can keep the wisdom teeth from developing where it needs to, which is far in the back of the mouth at the ends of the dental arches. Due to lack of space, many patients have an issue with their wisdom teeth becoming impacted. Impaction occurs when there is nowhere for the tooth to erupt and therefore, it becomes stuck in the jaw bone, sometimes turning into the adjacent teeth and causing pain. When this happens, removal is necessary, and impacted wisdom teeth require surgical extraction.
Surgical extraction explained
Surgical extractions are different than traditional simple extractions. When a tooth has not erupted through the gum line, the dentist must cut through the gum tissue to access the tooth and remove it with specialized tools and instruments. This is a more invaisve way of removing a tooth than simple extraction, but oftentimes a necessary way. Surgical extraction is done with proper local anesthetics and sedation to ensure patients are comfortable throughout the procedure. Surgical extraction does require stitches to suture up the gum tissue and to allow for healing of the mouth following the surgery. Patients who have the procedure done are given aftercare instructions from the dentist to monitor their oral health and wellness afterwards and ensure infection does not occur.
What are some aftercare tips for surgically extracted wisdom teeth?
- Arrange for a friend or family member to transport you home and look after you for a few hours until the medication wears off.
- Use ice packs to reduce swelling and for soothing the area.
- Replace the gauze regularly to prevent infection.
- Rest and let your body recover after surgery for a day or two.
- Enjoy soft and cold foods until you are able to enjoy more solid items.
- Avoid using strays or smoking cigarettes as this can result in dry socket.
- Use over-the-counter pain medications to manage discomfort if needed.
- Irrigate the area after meals if recommended by the dentist.
- Take great care in brushing and flossing your teeth following surgery.
- Understand that some bruising and discoloration of the mouth is common.
- If prescribed antibiotics, take them as suggested and discontinue only when instructed.
- Use lip balm on the lips if they are becoming dry and cracked after surgery due to stretching.
- Some patients may notice stiffness of the jaw muscles that can be uncomfortable but not long-lasting.
- Avoid using mouth washes for several days as this can eliminate the necessary blood clots.
- Reduce your activity for a few days until you feel comfortable enough to resume them.
- Contact the doctor if there is any severe pain or concerns that are not mentioned in aftercare instructions.
- Attend the follow-up appointment arranged by your dentist approximately one week later.
If you have any further questions about your aftercare, patients are advised to ask prior to their surgery when they are clear-headed and can understand and maintain the information given to them. Having a friend at the appointment to take note of any recommendations from the doctor is also helpful.
Are you ready for extraction of your wisdom teeth?
We encourage you to book an appointment with our team of professionals in Indianapolis, IN at Washington Street Dentistry with our dentist, Dr. Matthew Church. The practice is conveniently located at 10935 East Washington Street and can be reached by phone for an appointment to schedule a visit at (317) 333-6788 . Call today and get started in learning more about ways to maintain your oral health and wellness with general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry solutions at our practice.