Non-impacted Wisdom Teeth Extraction
A tooth extraction is the procedure to remove a tooth. Ideally, a tooth is only removed if there are no other options to prolong the usefulness of the tooth. Some of the most common teeth that are removed in patients are the wisdom teeth. The wisdom teeth (also known as “3rd molars”) are the last teeth to form and erupt through the gums for patients. One common question that many patients have about these teeth is: “do wisdom teeth always need to be extracted?” Dr. Street believes that the answer to this question is “no”—if the teeth can erupt in the mouth properly and can be maintained and cleaned, they can be useful as extra teeth for chewing. Some indications for recommending wisdom teeth extractions are:
- There is not enough room for wisdom teeth to erupt properly.
- The wisdom teeth only partially erupt, which can increase chances of infection.
- Malalignment of wisdom teeth can cause crowding or even damage to the teeth in front of them.
- A cyst (fluid-filled sac) is present on a wisdom tooth. Wisdom teeth are the most common teeth to cause cysts, which typically require removal of the teeth to remove the cyst.
- The lower wisdom teeth can sometimes cause overgrowth of gums over the teeth, which can lead to pericoronitis. Pericoronitis is an infection that frequently causes intense pain, offensive smells, and even limited mouth opening.
Wisdom teeth extractions can occasionally be simple procedures, especially if the wisdom teeth are fully erupted and don’t have long or curved roots. If the teeth are fully or partially covered by bone, the teeth may take a little longer to remove. In most of these impacted wisdom teeth cases, Dr. Street may recommend you to an Oral Surgeon to have the teeth removed. An Oral Surgeon can even use general anesthesia so that the patient will be “asleep” for the procedure.
For non-impacted wisdom teeth removal, Dr. Street will use local anesthetic injections (“shots”), which numb up sensations so that the patient does not feel sharp pain. Nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas) can also be used to relax patients having extractions performed at Dr. Street’s office.
A thorough understanding of the patient’s health, past surgeries, and current medications is necessary before performing an extraction. Once the tooth is extracted, the socket where the tooth root used to be needs time to heal. This healing involves forming a blood clot in the extraction site, which promotes bone and gum tissue to form over time. A “dry socket” is an unpleasant complication that can occur if the blot clot fails to form or dislodges before the extraction site has healed.
To prevent dry sockets, a patient should:
- Avoid smoking for at least 48 hours after the extraction
- Avoid drinking through a straw or rinsing their mouth vigorously for 48 hours
- Keep the toothbrush away from the extraction site during brushing
- Follow the temporary diet suggested by Dr. Street (such as soft and non-spicy food)
With modern tooth extraction procedures and recommended follow-up care, a tooth extraction can be a simple and painless process.
Give your Tulsa dentist at T-Town smiles a call at (918) 488-9770 to schedule an appointment.
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Looking for a full-service dentist in Tulsa?
At the office of Dr. Scott Street, we offer stress-free family care using modern technology and an old-fashioned personal approach. We provide a full selection of dental treatments, from routine cleanings to top-quality dental restorations. If you are looking for a full-service family dentist in Tulsa, OK, call us today at 918-488-9770 or use our online Appointment Request form.
Suite 1107 (11th Floor)
Tulsa, OK 74136
Tuesday 8am - 5pm
Wednesday 8am - 5pm
Thursday 8am - 5pm
Friday 8am - 5pm
Additional times are available.
Dr. Scott Street and the team at T-Town Smiles are proud to be the local Tulsa Dentist serving families in Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Jenks, Oakhurst, Bixby, Glenpool and surrounding Tulsa communities.