Wisdom Teeth Extraction Santa Barbara, CA
Wisdom teeth extraction can help to relieve pain in a patient’s teeth that results from the wisdom teeth causing crowding issues or growing incorrectly. There are many different reasons you may need to extract your wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth extraction removes the third set of molars in the back of your mouth.
Referrals to Excellent Specialists
At Julie A. Heminway, D.D.S. in Santa Barbara and the surrounding area, we work with and have great relationships with endodontists, oral surgeons, orthodontists, and periodontists in the area. Should additional treatment be required, we will be happy to schedule appointments for you and communicate with the other office throughout your treatment so that x-rays, information, and reports are shared between our office and the specialist’s office.
Call us at (805) 409-2358 to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment today.
Understanding Wisdom Teeth Extraction
"Wisdom teeth" is the colloquial term for the third set of molars that sit in the back of the mouth. They are called such because they come between the more "mature" ages of 17 and 21. The emergence of wisdom teeth can be uncomfortable, even if they are emerging correctly. Wisdom teeth do not always necessitate extraction. On the contrary, properly aligned wisdom teeth may assist in chewing.
However, if there is no adequate space for the wisdom teeth to emerge or if the teeth are coming through in the wrong position, they may become impacted (or trapped in the jaw or under the gums). This may cause cysts, damage to neighboring teeth, gum disease, infection, pain, tooth, decay, and tumors. A dentist needs to monitor the patient’s wisdom teeth and determine the best course of action.
“”Wisdom teeth” is the colloquial term for the third set of molars that sit in the back of the mouth.”
What to Know Before Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Wisdom teeth extraction is commonly performed and generally safe when carried out by qualified doctors. However, like any other surgery, it does carry a small risk of complications. These include bleeding, dry socket, and infection. Our team will do everything we can to minimize these risks even further. However, patients should contact our office immediately if they find themselves experiencing any of the following symptoms after their extraction:
- Absent or dislodged blood clot at the extraction site after surgery
- High temperature
- Yellow or white discharge from the extraction site
- Persistent pain and swelling
- Persistent, heavy bleeding that does not subside over time
- Throbbing pain in the gum or jaw
- Unpleasant smell or taste in the mouth
Most potential complications following wisdom teeth extraction are easily treatable when reported to the doctor.
“Wisdom teeth extraction is commonly performed and generally safe when carried out by qualified doctors.”
Preparing for Wisdom Teeth Extraction
The first step to wisdom teeth extraction begins with an initial consultation. During this time, patients should be open and honest with their doctor about their entire medical history. This includes but is not limited to sharing any health problems they may have, any medications and supplements they may take regularly, and any lifestyle choices that may influence the success of the surgery. The consultation is also a good time for patients to assuage their anxieties by asking any questions about the procedure.
“The first step to wisdom teeth extraction begins with an initial consultation.”
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What to Expect During Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Generally, wisdom teeth extraction begins with the doctor injecting the patient with a local anesthetic to numb them to the pain of the procedure. The doctor will then cut into the gum tissue to expose the tooth and bone, making sure to remove any bone blocking access to the tooth root. Depending on how severely impacted the tooth is, the tooth may be divided into sections to be removed little by little.
After extracting the tooth, the doctor will clean the extraction site of any debris. Afterward, the wound may or may not need stitches, and the doctor will pack gauze over the extraction site to control bleeding and to aid in the formation of a blood clot.
“After extracting the tooth, the doctor will clean the extraction site of any debris.”
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Aftercare for Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Patients should expect to rest for the remainder of the day following their wisdom teeth extraction. Though regular activities can be resumed as soon as the day after, patients should refrain from any strenuous activity for at least a week following their procedure. Otherwise, they run the risk of overexertion and dislodging the blood clot. Our team will provide patients with a customized recovery plan for their specific procedures.
Complications following wisdom teeth extraction are rare as long as patients follow this plan. However, patients should contact us immediately if they are experiencing any of the following:
- Blood or pus in nasal discharge
- Difficulty swallowing or breathing
- Excessive bleeding
- Foul taste in the mouth
- Persistent numbness or loss of feeling
- Pus in or oozing from the socket
- Severe pain that does not subside
- Swelling that does not subside after two or three days
“Though regular activities can be resumed as soon as the day after, patients should refrain from any strenuous activity for at least a week following their procedure.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Will I be able to drive myself home after wisdom teeth extraction?
A. This varies from person to person and the type of anesthesia used. Some patients who were only under a local anesthetic may feel alert enough to drive back home after their procedure, while some may not. However, those who have undergone general anesthesia will need to make arrangements for someone to drive them to and from the operation.
Q. Will I be in pain after wisdom teeth extraction?
A. You should expect some pain and discomfort following the procedure. However, this is generally manageable through administering ice packs and taking over-the-counter pain relievers. The dentist may prescribe you antibiotics, depending on the severity of your procedure.
Q. What can I eat after wisdom teeth extraction?
A. You may not have much of an appetite after getting your wisdom teeth extracted. Still, it is essential to stay hydrated and eat well. Since you do not want to dislodge your blood clot or stitches, stick to soft, low- or no-chew foods for the first few days. Refrain from eating anything hot or hard. Do not drink from a straw or slurp too vigorously from a spoon.
Q. How old do I need to be to have my wisdom teeth extracted?
A. Wisdom teeth can be extracted at any age, depending on the severity and type of impaction. However, complications are less likely in younger adults.
Q. Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from my wisdom teeth extraction?
A. You should exercise caution to avoid dislodging your blood clot or stitches for the first week. This means avoiding smoking, spitting, drinking from a straw, or anything else that might disrupt your healing.
- Anesthesia is a substance that medical professionals administer in various forms (gas, injection or pill) that helps patients not feel pain or sensations during surgical operations.
- Cosmetic Dentistry
- Cosmetic dentistry is generally used to refer to any dental work that improves the appearance (though not necessarily the function) of a person’s teeth, gums and/or bite.
- Dental Checkup
- A dental checkup is an appointment that involves cleaning the teeth, identifying any signs of infection and removing said signs of infection at least once every six months in the office.
- A dentist, also known as a dental surgeon, is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and conditions of the oral cavity.
- Oral Surgery
- Oral surgery is a type of surgery that focuses on the mouth, jaw, gums or teeth. Oral surgery can repair, enhance or correct multiple issues in the mouth.
- Preventive Dentistry
- Preventive dentistry is the dentistry that focuses on maintaining oral health in order to prevent the spread of plaque, the formation of tartar and infections in the mouth.
- Vacuum Formed Mouthguard
- A vacuum formed mouthguard involves customizing the mouthguard to match a mold of the individual patient’s teeth for a perfect fit.
Helpful Related Links
- American Dental Association (ADA). Glossary of Dental Clinical Terms. 2022
- American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry® (AACD). Home Page. 2022
- WebMD. WebMD’s Oral Care Guide. 2022
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