Wisdom Tooth Extraction Can Protect Your Oral Health
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, typically erupt during the late teens or early twenties. While some patients are unaffected, wisdom teeth often cause pain and oral health issues as they begin to erupt. Dr. Gary Kinder in Knoxville, TN, can evaluate your bite to determine whether wisdom tooth extraction is necessary. If that is the case, he can coordinate your or your child's treatment with a trusted oral surgeon. Backed by over 35 years of experience, Dr. Kinder takes all the time necessary to inform patients of their unique condition and what to expect throughout treatment.
Is Wisdom Tooth Extraction Necessary?
In some instances, the jaw has sufficient room and the wisdom teeth erupt in alignment with the rest of your smile. However, wisdom teeth often grow in at an angle or become impacted. Impaction occurs when the wisdom teeth do not fully erupt because they are trapped under the bone or soft tissue. This can lead to a variety of issues including:
- Bite problems
- Pain and swelling
In order to prevent complications altogether, wisdom tooth extraction is often recommended in patients' teens. Additionally, these teeth are often difficult to clean as thoroughly as other molars, which can lead to decay. Sometimes, the procedure may also be recommended to prepare for orthodontic treatment.
Planning Your Treatment
During a visit to our office, Dr. Kinder will take x-rays to examine the position of your wisdom teeth, determine whether they pose a threat, and see how many will need to be removed. If extraction is recommended, he will refer you to a highly skilled, local oral surgeon who can provide safe, precise care.
Wisdom Tooth Removal
Many patients are hesitant to undergo wisdom tooth extraction if they are experiencing no symptoms. However, the procedure is designed to be painless and can actually prevent serious discomfort in the future.
To begin, a local anesthetic is applied to numb the treatment area and sedation can be provided to further ensure your comfort. Depending on whether the tooth has fully erupted, the procedure will entail slightly different steps:
If the entire tooth is above the gum line, a simple extraction is performed. During this procedure, forceps will be used to gently remove the tooth in one piece.
Dr. Kinder can coordinate safe treatment with a trusted oral surgeon to address any existing complications and protect your oral health.
If the tooth is impacted, the surgeon will need to create an incision in the gums, and possibly need to remove some bone tissue, to access the tooth. Often, the tooth will need to be extracted in smaller pieces to minimize damage to the surrounding tissues. The incision will then be sutured closed.
During Your Recovery
It is usually recommended that you take at least a day or two off to rest and recover. While some swelling and discomfort are normal and can be managed with pain medication, you should notify us immediately if you experience:
- Excessive bleeding
- Severe swelling after several days
- Increasing pain
During your recovery, it is important to avoid strenuous activities, refrain from using a straw, and maintain a soft-foods diet to help avoid complications.
Your Health Is Our Priority
Whether you are experiencing pain or other concerning symptoms, or would simply like to be screened for wisdom tooth removal, we can help. Contact Dr. Kinder's office online or call us at (865) 539-6030. Your health is our priority and we can recommend the best way to protect your smile.