Wisdom Tooth Removal
Dr. Kenney can extract wisdom teeth for patients who are good candidates and in need of removing them. If a wisdom tooth doesn't have room to grow in (also called an “impacted wisdom tooth”), you will experience pain and possibly infection. For that reason, we usually recommend removal of the wisdom teeth before future problems occur.
Most people have four wisdom teeth. Each one is located at the back corners of your mouth, and they are sometimes referred to as third molars.
An impacted wisdom tooth may grow at an awkward angle, with the top of the tooth facing forward, backward, or to either side. Your wisdom teeth may only break partway through your gums, causing a flap of gum tissue to grow over them. Germs can get trapped under the flap and cause your gums to become red, swollen, and painful. If these problems happen with your wisdom teeth, you will most likely need to have them removed.
We can perform the wisdom tooth removal in our office. However, if your tooth is deeply impacted or if the extraction is expected to be difficult, we may suggest you to see an oral surgeon.
Before removing a wisdom tooth, we will inject you with local anesthetic to numb the area where the tooth will be removed. Sometimes a general anesthetic may be used if several or all of your wisdom teeth are being removed at the same time. A general anesthetic will cause you to sleep through the procedure.
During wisdom tooth extraction, an incision will be made in the gum. Sometimes the tooth must be broken up into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove. After removing the tooth, we will clean the area where the tooth was.
The wound must then be stitched closed, and gauze will be placed over the area to control bleeding and help a blood clot form. You should bite gently on the gauze pad and change pads periodically as they become soaked with blood. Usually the stitches dissolve over time; if not, some may have to be removed.
We will give you antibiotics to ensure your wounds will not get infected, and we may give you some prescription pain medication, such as Vicodin. You may use over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others). Holding a cold pack against your jaw also helps relieve pain.
Some oozing of blood may occur on the first day after wisdom tooth removal. Try to avoid excessive spitting so that you don't dislodge the blood clot from the socket.
Replace gauze over the extraction site as directed. Swelling or bruising of your cheeks usually improves in two or three days. After the first day, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water several times to reduce swelling and relieve pain.
After surgery, eat soft foods such as gelatin, pudding, or soup. Do not use a straw for several days because sucking on a straw can loosen the blood clot and delay healing.
If you think you may need a wisdom tooth removed, please call (818) 312-9787 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Kenney today.