Is wisdom tooth removal in your future?
While not everyone will need to have their wisdom teeth extracted, it’s still common for these back molars to come in incorrectly (or remain impacted) and require removal by a dentist.
Fort Worth dentist Dr. Ryan Knight and the rest of his team are skilled at this procedure, and we promise to make it as fast, easy, and comfortable as possible.
Why Do My Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Extracted?
Wisdom tooth extraction may be necessary for several reasons. The most common of these is impaction, which simply means that the tooth never fully emerged and remains fully or partially covered by gum tissue.
Why is this a problem? Because when a tooth is impacted, it can’t be properly cleaned and it’s much more prone to decay. Additionally, the gum tissue is likely to have small openings, putting you at risk for infection. Once decay or infection sets in, treatment becomes more difficult and requires more complex efforts. In the end, extraction would likely be necessary anyway. Extracting the teeth before these problems set in saves you a great deal of future discomfort and cost.
Is the Extraction Process Complicated?
Usually, wisdom tooth extraction is fairly simple, but it depends on how severely the tooth is impacted and whether it has been damaged in any way. If the tooth is only partially impacted, we can make a small incision in the gum tissue and, using specific instruments designed for this procedure, rock the tooth back and forth in the socket to loosen the ligaments before gently lifting it out.
If the tooth is completely impacted or has been damaged by decay or trauma, then we may have to perform a more complex extraction, which may require breaking the tooth before we remove it or suturing the gums following the extraction.
At your appointment to discuss the procedure, we’ll let you know what to expect so that you can prepare appropriately.
What About Sedation?
Your comfort, both physical and mental, is extremely important to us. We offer sedation dentistry, which may include nitrous oxide, oral sedation, or even IV sedation. If you are feeling anxious about this procedure, please let us know right away so that we can discuss sedation options and decide which one is right for you.
Before we begin your procedure, we’ll make sure that you are fully anesthetized and sedated so that you are completely comfortable. We don’t want you to feel a thing!
How Do I Care for Myself Following My Extraction?
Dr. Knight will provide you with full after-care instructions. Following them will reduce the risk of complications, which can include bleeding, infection, and dry socket. Healing time following an extraction will vary depending on the complexity of the procedure and can range between a couple of days to a week or more.
For the best results following your procedure, plan to follow these tips:
- Have a friend or family member drive you to or from your procedure (if you are using sedation, we require this for your safety).
- If possible, have a friend or family member help you for the rest of the day since you may be groggy from the procedure and the medication.
- We’ll give you gauze to bite on, which will help to control the bleeding. Use it for as long as our team recommends. It’s important to let the clot form in the socket since this is key in the healing process.
- Take your medication as prescribed. You may be prescribed anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, or painkillers.
- If you are experiencing swelling, you can use an ice pack on your cheek for 10 minutes at a time.
- Keep soft foods in your pantry and fridge so that you are prepared. Good choices are yogurt, applesauce, pudding, cold soups, and ice cream. Pureed fruits and vegetables are a great choice.
- Do not drink anything from a straw or smoke cigarettes. The sucking action will dislodge the clot that is forming and could cause dry socket. Smoking cigarettes increases your chance of developing an infection and can also increase your healing time.
If you are experiencing discomfort for longer than expected following your extraction, please call our office. If your pain is increasing instead of receding, you may have developed a dry socket. Let us know right away so we can help.
Call Today to Schedule Your Evaluation
Dr. Knight can assess the health of your wisdom teeth and determine whether they should be removed.
Call our Fort Worth dental office at (817) 653-8859 to schedule your appointment.