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Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Smile Plant

General Dentists located in Santa Clara, CA

Your wisdom teeth don’t always check to see if the coast is clear before erupting into your mouth. If these teeth try to form in your mouth but don’t have room on your jawbone, they can cause your other teeth to fall out of alignment and cause pain, swelling, and a risk of infection. Joseph Kim, DDS, in Santa Clara, California, can schedule your wisdom teeth extraction today and have you on the road to a pain-free recovery. Call Smile Plant today or make an appointment online.

Wisdom Teeth Extraction Q & A

What are wisdom teeth?

Your wisdom teeth are the back four molars in your mouth, located at the back corners of your top and bottom rows of teeth. These teeth are the last four of your adult teeth to erupt, or move into place, usually between the ages of 17 and 25. Some people never even develop wisdom teeth, and others have them grow into their mouth with no issues.

Unfortunately, many people don’t have room in their mouths for wisdom teeth and they can grow incorrectly or begin to shift surrounding teeth. This is called an impacted wisdom tooth, and it will cause pain, swelling, and possibly infection until wisdom teeth removal.

How do I know if I need my wisdom teeth removed?

Any signs of an impacted wisdom tooth mean that you probably don’t have room in your mouth for four more teeth. An impacted wisdom tooth may:

  • Grow at an angle toward or away from the adjacent tooth
  • Grow at a right angle to the other teeth, sometimes described as if the tooth is “lying down” against the jawbone
  • Grow within the jawbone

In addition to the tooth growing at a visibly incorrect angle, you’ll probably experience symptoms like:

  • Pain
  • Infection in the teeth or gums
  • Tooth decay of the partially erupted tooth
  • Development of a fluid-filled sac or cyst around the tooth
  • Damage to the nearby teeth or jawbone itself

Even if your wisdom teeth grow in properly, they can be difficult to clean and brush effectively, so it’s not uncommon for people to have them removed preventively.

What happens during wisdom teeth removal?

Wisdom teeth extraction is an extremely common and very safe procedure that can be completed in just one visit to Dr. Kim. When you arrive for your extraction, you’ll be given an anesthetic or sedative. The strength of this will depend on the complexity and severity of your situation, but it can vary from a local anesthetic to an IV sedative.

During the procedure, Dr. Kim makes a small incision in the gum line and removes a small amount of the adjacent bone to expose the wisdom teeth. Then he divides each tooth into smaller pieces so it’s easier to remove and removes each piece as well as any debris in the area.

Depending on the size of the incision, he may then suture it back up or allow it to heal naturally and bandage the area with gauze. You’ll probably experience some light bleeding, swelling, and discomfort for the first day or two of your recovery, but once these side effects subside the symptoms of the impacted wisdom tooth will be completely gone.

If you think your wisdom teeth may be impacted or if you have any questions, call Smile Plant today or make an appointment online.