Residents in the Fair Oaks area can rest assured that their dental health is a top priority. Good oral health reduces pain, improves your smile, and helps fight a variety of medical conditions. For those in need of extraction of their wisdom teeth or other forms of oral surgery, we offer a friendly, sterile environment with a relaxing atmosphere. To ensure you know exactly what to expect and when to schedule an appointment in Fair Oaks, we provide the following fact sheet, specifically to educate our patients on wisdom teeth and oral surgery.
Wisdom teeth are the third and last molars to appear. To maintain good oral health, a person does not actually need to have these molars. In fact, these molars more frequently cause complications, rather than serving a useful purpose. Small jaws, improperly aligned wisdom teeth, and the risk of infection or the development of cysts and other abnormal gum growths are the primary reason for having wisdom teeth removed.
For individuals in their late teens and into early adulthood, wisdom teeth may or may not present a problem. However, when certain signs appear, it’s time to visit a dentist in the Fair Oaks area for an evaluation. Warning signs that an extraction may be necessary include:
Facial or jaw pain
Swelling around adjacent molars (a sign of impaction)
Gum tenderness or bleeding
Misaligned wisdom teeth or shifting of adjacent molars
Damage to the bite
Types of Extra
Depending on the current state of a person’s wisdom teeth, oral surgery may or may not be necessary. For wisdom teeth that have already full broken through the gums, a standard tooth extraction may be all that is required. If the teeth have only partially broken through or have not broken through at all, oral surgery is necessary to remove the tooth in its entirety. Generally, either procedure can be performed in the dentist or oral surgeon’s office.
What to Expect Before and During Surgery
Depending on the specific type of extraction, your Fair Oaks area dentist will provide either local or general anesthetics. For simple extractions, a local anesthetic is used to numb just the area around the tooth to be extracted. For oral surgery or if several wisdom teeth are removed at the same time, a general anesthetic is used. Due to the effects of the anesthetic, dentists typically recommend patients refrain from eating or drinking after midnight or for several hours before surgery.
To remove the tooth or teeth, your dentist clears the gum tissue around the tooth and separates it from any bone over or around the tooth. If necessary, the tooth may have to be cut or broken into smaller, more manageable pieces prior to removal. Stitches may be necessary.
What to Expect After Surgery
After surgery, there are some steps you will need to take. These include:
Keep gauze pads in place as directed
Apply ice packs as needed for swelling
Avoid hard or chewy foods during healing
Avoid using straws or smoking during healing
Rinse your mouth with warm salt water several times a day