According to the American Dental Association, wisdom teeth, or third molars, usually erupt between ages 17 and 21. For many individuals, third molars erupt without any issue. However, if wisdom teeth erupt in the wrong position or there is not enough space in the jaw, they can cause serious dental complications. When third molars become impacted or infected, removing them can relieve pain and protect your smile. At our practice in Rockville, MD, Dr. Victor Siegel can perform wisdom teeth extraction with minimal discomfort.
When Is Wisdom Tooth Removal Necessary?
There are several circumstances under which Dr. Siegel may recommend removing your or your child's wisdom teeth. The most common issues involve limited spacing. When there is not enough room in the jaw for the third molars to erupt properly, they can become impacted, or trapped under the gums. Alternatively, they may grow in at an angle and press against neighboring teeth, causing crowding, improper bite alignment, or other concerns.
Wisdom teeth typically need to be removed when there is evidence or a risk of detrimental changes to your smile.
When a wisdom tooth does not fully erupt from the gums, the tooth can cause a condition known as pericoronitis. In this case, food, plaque, and other debris can become trapped between the tooth and the gums, leading to infection.
Wisdom teeth typically need to be removed when there is evidence or risk of detrimental changes to your smile. These may include:
- Damage to the neighboring teeth
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
Many dentists recommend removing wisdom teeth before age 20, as tooth roots are shorter. Wisdom teeth that are not removed should be consistently monitored as they may cause problems in the future.
Undergoing Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Before recommending removal, Dr. Siegel will examine your or your child's oral health and take a series of digital x-rays. Generally, a full panoramic x-ray of the teeth and jaw is necessary. If the wisdom teeth are severely impacted, we may refer you to a specialist.
If your tooth is not impacted, we can perform a simple extraction. After administering a local anesthetic, Dr. Siegel can gently rock the tooth back and forth until it becomes loose enough to remove.
If your tooth is impacted, you may require a surgical extraction. In this case, a small incision is made in your gum to access the tooth. It may be broken into pieces for easier, gentler removal. The incision is then closed with sutures after the tooth is removed. Different levels of sedation are available during tooth extractions to ensure your comfort.
It typically takes from four days to one week to recover from wisdom tooth removal. During the first few days, a blood clot should form over the extraction site. You should avoid brushing near the surgical site, spitting, or using a straw so that the clot remains undisturbed. You can apply ice to your face to help with swelling and pain. Be sure to follow any other recovery instructions provided by Dr. Siegel.
Schedule an Exam for Yourself or Your Child
At our practice, we are dedicated to caring for you and your family. If you or your child are experiencing symptoms of wisdom tooth complications, we are here to help. Contact our office online or call us at (301) 963-4330 to find out more about our services.