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Wisdom Teeth

Advantage Dental Care

General Dentistry & Cosmetic Dentistry located in Springfield, VA

Your wisdom teeth are the final molars to grow in, between the ages of 17-25. While they may erupt with no problems, many people struggle with painful impacted wisdom teeth. Advantage Dental Care in Springfield, Virginia, can assess your wisdom teeth and determine whether you need them removed. To schedule an appointment, call Advantage Dental Care or book online today.

Wisdom Teeth Q & A

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that typically grow in by your late teens or early 20s. They’re called wisdom teeth not because they make you wise, but because they don’t grow in until you reach adulthood.

Unfortunately, because your wisdom teeth grow in much later in life than the rest of your teeth, your mouth may not have enough room for them. In many cases, this leads to impaction, pain, and other dental problems.

What are impacted wisdom teeth?

Most people have two wisdom teeth in the top of their jaw and two in the bottom. If your mouth doesn’t have enough room to support four extra teeth, they may not fully erupt through the gums.

Instead, impacted wisdom teeth start growing sideways, putting pressure on your gums and surrounding teeth. If your wisdom teeth do erupt partially, they can be difficult to clean, often leading to tooth decay and gum disease.

How do I know if my wisdom teeth are impacted?

Many people have no idea their wisdom teeth are impacted until their dentist performs an X-ray during a routine dental exam. Others, however, may experience one or more of the following impacted wisdom teeth symptoms:

  • Jaw pain
  • Gum pain
  • Red, inflamed gums
  • Gum sensitivity
  • Tooth pain when chewing
  • Headaches
  • Jaw swelling

If you begin experiencing persistent bad breath or a sudden foul taste in your mouth, schedule an appointment with Advantage Dental Care right away, as these are signs of a tooth infection.

How are wisdom teeth removed?

How your wisdom teeth are removed at Advantage Dental Care depends on their position. If your wisdom teeth fully erupted, your dentist may perform a simple tooth extraction without additional surgery. If your wisdom teeth are impacted, however, you’ll need to schedule a minor surgical procedure to safely remove them.

At your extraction appointment, your dentist either administers local anesthesia (which numbs the injection site) or general anesthesia (which puts you to sleep) during the procedure.

Next, your dentist makes a small incision in your gums to expose the impacted tooth underneath. They may remove a small portion of bone if the tooth is deeply impacted. Finally, the tooth, as well as its roots, are extracted from your gums.

Once your dentist stitches up your gums and packs them with gauze, you’ll need a trusted friend or relative to drive you home while you recover. 

What happens after a wisdom tooth extraction?

To minimize pain and swelling over the coming days, you should:

  • Take anti-inflammatory pain medicine
  • Reduce swelling with an ice pack
  • Stick to soft foods 
  • Avoid sucking through a straw
  • Change your gauze pads regularly
  • Rest and relax

If you want to schedule an appointment for wisdom tooth extraction with Advantage Dental Care, call the office or book a visit online today.