About Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth, or the third molars, typically emerge during adolescence. Some patients never develop wisdom teeth, while others develop them without issue.
Since wisdom teeth are the last to erupt, their designated space along the jawbone may be crowded out by other teeth, preventing them from emerging. This can result in a variety of complications:
- Extreme pain
- Damage to surrounding teeth
- Periodontal disease
- Bacterial infection if the tooth partially erupts, allowing bacteria to become trapped under flaps of tissue
- A misaligned bite, as wisdom teeth can move other teeth out of place
If your wisdom tooth has erupted through the gums, Dr. van Zyl can remove it fairly easily. However, if the tooth has only partially erupted, or it is still entirely below the gum's surface, more extensive treatment may be required.
Removing Wisdom Teeth
Depending on your needs, various types of sedation are available to ensure maximum comfort. Dr. van Zyl will first remove a minimal amount of bone or gum tissue to provide access to the affected tooth. Once the tooth is exposed, it can be gently loosened and removed.
Tooth extractions are generally pain-free because of anesthesia; however, you may feel slight pressure during the procedure. If you feel pain or discomfort during the procedure, tell your dentist immediately. Once the tooth has been removed, Dr. van Zyl will carefully suture the incisions, and place folded gauze on the treated area to minimize bleeding.
Dr. van Zyl combines modern dentistry and advanced sedation techniques to ensure your comfort during tooth extraction.
Recovery and Follow-Up
Following surgery, Dr. van Zyl will provide instructions on recovery care:
- Get plenty of rest
- Avoid foods that might open your sutures
- Eat soft, cool foods for a few days
- Use a cold compress to soothe inflammation
- Take pain medication as prescribed
Although smokers are strongly encouraged to stop smoking entirely before and after the procedure in the interest of proper healing, it is imperative that patients do not smoke cigarettes within 48 to 72 hours of wisdom tooth extraction.
Side Effects and Risks
Like any surgery, wisdom tooth extraction poses certain risks and requires close postoperative monitoring. You should call Dr. van Zyl immediately if:
- You develop a fever or chills
- Bleeding does not subside
- You have difficulty swallowing
- The extraction site becomes increasingly painful, as this may indicate the development of a dry socket
Choosing an excellent oral surgeon is your best means of minimizing these risks. Dr. van Zyl's experience and refined techniques ensure minimal risk and maximum safety during your extraction.