Wisdom Teeth Removal
If you’re looking for an oral surgeon to have your wisdom teeth extracted, come and see us. Drs. Buck and Phillips utilize the most modern dental procedures and state-of-the-art technology available today. A panorex X-ray of your mouth and jaws will be taken to determine if your wisdom teeth are impacted, if there is room for them to grow in, and the level of difficulty to have them removed.
Many times the jaw of a patient is too small to accommodate wisdom teeth. When this happens, there is inadequate space for the teeth to break through, and they are considered impacted. This means they are not able to grow into the proper position for chewing and cleaning. When impaction occurs, removal is usually required, and should only be done by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon with many years of experience. That’s where we come in. Please call our Birmingham Southside office today at 205-933-1331 to schedule your wisdom teeth removal consultation.
This presentation is designed to provide a better understanding of wisdom teeth removal by addressing the most commonly asked questions of this oral-facial procedure. Watch it now.
TYPES OF WISDOM TOOTH IMPACTIONS
- Soft Tissue Impaction: There is not enough room to allow the gum tissue to retract for adequate cleaning of the tooth.
- Partial Bony Impaction: There is enough space to allow the wisdom tooth to partially breakthrough. However, the tooth cannot function properly in the chewing process, and creates cleaning problems as well as other issues.
- Complete Bony Impaction: There is NO space for the tooth to breakthrough. It remains embedded in the jaw bone or partially visible. This makes for a delicate tooth extraction procedure.
SHOULD I HAVE MY WISDOM TEETH REMOVED?
Third molars are commonly referred to as wisdom teeth. These are usually the last teeth to develop and are located in the back of your mouth. They develop between the middle teenage years and early twenties, a time typically linked to becoming more mature and wise. Thus the name “wisdom teeth.”
Impacted wisdom teeth should be removed before their root structure is fully developed. Problems tend to occur with increasing frequency after the age of 30. Some of the possible problems related to not removing your wisdom teeth include pericoronitis, (a localized gum infection), a cyst formation, and crowding or damage to adjacent teeth which could possibly develop into gum disease. In general, you will heal faster and have fewer complications if you’re treated in your teens or early twenties.
WHAT HAPPENS ON THE DAY WISDOM TEETH ARE REMOVED?
On the morning or afternoon of your surgery, it is essential that you have nothing to eat or drink (excluding prescription medications with a sip of water) for at least eight hours. This does not mean you should try to fit in one “last meal” exactly eight hours before your surgery. Having anything in your stomach can increase the risk for serious anesthetic complications, including nausea and vomiting. Your procedure will be rescheduled if you have not heeded these guidelines.
On the day of your procedure, we ask that a parent or responsible adult accompanies you to the office and plans to stay with you the rest of the day. You will take medications to help minimize postoperative pain and swelling. The procedure will take about thirty to 60 minutes, and you will probably be in the office for a total of 90 minutes.
When you are seated in the surgical room, we will make every effort to make you as comfortable as possible (You will be provided with appropriate anesthesia options at your consultation.) If you are going to be sedated, we will place an IV in your arm. This is a quick and virtually painless procedure that ensures optimal delivery of your medication.
Local anesthesia is given to you afterwards to ensure comfort, and allow adequate time to travel home and rest. You will be drowsy for a significant portion of the day. Make plans to have a parent or responsible adult accompany you to the procedure and stay with you for the rest of the day.
Before the local anesthesia wears off, we recommend starting your pain medication. Because taking pain medication on an empty stomach can make you nauseated, we recommend starting your post-operative diet with something light like jello or applesauce before taking medication. You may gradually increase the substance in your diet as your body permits. Most local anesthesia will waer off within two to three hours after the procedure.
We do not recommend eating dairy products such as yogurt, ice cream, or milkshakes on the day of surgery, as nausea and vomiting may result when mixing with anesthetic and pain medication. If you are given antibiotics and you take birth control pills, please be aware that the birth control pills might become ineffective and take appropriate precautions.
AFTER EXTRACTION OF WISDOM TEETH
Once the teeth are removed, the gum is sutured. To help control the bleeding, you will bite down on the gauze placed at the extraction site in your mouth. You will rest under our supervision in the office until you are ready to be taken home. Upon discharge, your postoperative kit will include detailed instructions, a prescription for pain medication, antibiotics, and a follow-up appointment in one week.
We ask that you follow your post-operative instructions closely. Doing so will make you as comfortable as possible during the first few days following your procedure. Most of the time you will want to limit your activities for a few days. You should not drive while taking pain medication.
The post-operative instruction sheet provided should answer many of the questions related to more common after-procedure concerns. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call our Birmingham Southside Office at 205-933-1331.
WHAT DOES WISDOM TOOTH REMOVAL COST AND IS IT COVERED BY INSURANCE?
The oral surgeon’s office staff will help you obtain maximum insurance coverage for your treatment. All of these things will need to be taken into account before an accurate estimate can be provided.