Wisdom Tooth Removal
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are located in the very back of the mouth. While most individuals have four wisdom teeth, some have less than that, or even none at all. However, if these teeth become problematic, it can lead to a host of oral health issues, such as infection and discomfort. At our Tucson, AZ, practice, Dr. Robert Hawke performs wisdom tooth removal to help patients avoid potential concerns and protect their oral health for years to come.
When wisdom teeth lack room to erupt properly, it can lead to misalignment, discomfort, and other symptoms.
Exploring Your Candidacy
Today, most dentists recommend removing wisdom teeth preventatively. You may benefit from this procedure if:
- The wisdom teeth are impacted, either partially or fully, in the jawbone.
- Your jawbone is not large enough to accommodate an extra set of molars.
- One or more wisdom teeth erupt at an angle or place excessive pressure on the neighboring teeth.
If you have already developed decay, gum disease, or infection due to issues with your wisdom teeth, Dr. Hawke will likely recommend removal. During a consultation at our Tucson practice, we can help determine if this treatment is right for you.
Benefits of Wisdom Teeth Removal
The primary advantage of wisdom teeth removal is the prevention of future dental issues. Complications related to problematic third molars include discomfort, infection, decay, and damage to the surrounding structures. When you choose to undergo wisdom teeth removal, you are giving yourself the best chance for optimal oral health.
Most dentists recommend removing wisdom teeth preventatively. Dr. Hawke uses precise, gentle extraction techniques.
Furthermore, Dr. Hawke uses the latest advancements and the gentlest techniques. This ensures that patients enjoy a comfortable, low-stress visit.
About the Procedure
Dr. Hawke will first administers local anesthesia to numb the affected teeth and the surrounding tissues. Sedation may also be provided upon request.
If the wisdom tooth has erupted, Dr. Hawke uses special instruments to free it from its socket. However, if it is impacted, an incision is created in the gums to gain access to the tooth and supporting jawbone. At this point, Dr. Hawke removes any bone that is covering the affected tooth. In many cases, the tooth is divided into sections for easier removal. Once the tooth has been extracted, the socket is cleaned and disinfected to promote healing. Finally, the incisions are closed with sutures.
Recovery after Wisdom Teeth Removal
Though it can take a few weeks for complete healing to take place, most patients are comfortable within one week. Consider these recommendations to promote a more comfortable recovery period:
- Bleeding: Immediately following your wisdom teeth removal, Dr. Hawke places gauze packs over the surgical sites. This controls bleeding and promotes the formation of blood clots. The gauze should be left in place for at least 30 minutes. If bleeding persists, they can be changed out for new ones.
- Discomfort: Any tenderness or pain can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen. You may also be provided with prescription medication.
- Swelling and inflammation: During the first 24 hours, apply a cold compress to the cheek and jaw area in 20-minute increments. This helps reduce swelling and discomfort.
- Activity level: For the first 48 to 72 hours, avoid all strenuous activity. An elevated heart rate can lead to an increase in post-operative discomfort, bleeding, and swelling.
- Straws: Avoid the use of straws for one week. The suction can dislodge blood clots, leading to dry sockets and other complications.
- Diet: For the first couple of days, eat a soft diet. This can include applesauce, pudding, yogurt, soup, smoothies, pasta, and similar foods. Once your comfort level improves, you can incorporate more solid foods into your diet.
- Oral hygiene: You will be provided with specific post-treatment guidelines. However, in general, patients should avoid brushing for at least 24 hours. Once you resume brushing, be gentle around the extraction areas until the tissues fully heal. All other teeth can be cleaned normally.
- Stitches: In most cases, we place dissolvable sutures. These fall out on their own a few days after the procedure. If Dr. Hawke uses non-absorbable sutures, we will schedule a visit for you to have them removed.
Contact Our Practice Today
Dr. Hawke has been practicing since 1976 and is committed to upholding the highest standards in dental care.To learn more about wisdom teeth removal for yourself or your child at our Tucson practice, schedule a visit today. Contact us online or give us a call at (520) 323-3842.