Baby teeth come in at an early age and are replaced by permanent teeth during childhood. These aren’t the last teeth to erupt, however. Wisdom teeth, or 3rd molars, usually emerge during the late teens, if at all. Because wisdom teeth don’t grow alongside permanent teeth, they can cause complications. When they fail to break completely through the gums or remain below the gums, they’re known as impacted wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth can come in at odd angles and press against neighboring teeth, forcing what may be very healthy teeth to grow crooked and possibly become infected. What’s more, with their tight fit and crookedness wisdom teeth and adjacent teeth can be hard to brush and floss. This makes them as susceptible to infection and decay as any teeth that don’t receive regular care.
The award-winning multispecialty team here at Dental Partners of Brookline has extensive experience in wisdom teeth removal. We’ve helped countless patients avoid or overcome the pain and other complications associated with impacted wisdom teeth. We’re ready to do the same for you! Contact us for an appointment at the first sign of symptoms.
Wisdom Teeth Symptoms
Swollen jaw or cheeks
Difficulty opening your mouth
Presence of blood or pus near back teeth
Bad breath or foul taste
Wisdom Teeth Removal Requires Expert Care
Though technically a tooth extraction, wisdom tooth extractions are more complex surgical procedures that require us to open the gums to fully access the teeth. With a board-certified periodontist—a gum health expert—and a prosthodontist on staff here at our Brookline, MA office, as well as other specialists and a general dentist, we can provide the best of care before, during, and after any wisdom tooth removal. Due to the complexity of the procedure, recovery can take longer than with a standard tooth extraction. Expect to miss at least one day of work or school in addition to the day of the procedure. During healing, you will need to take special care to prevent painful complications.
Good Aftercare Is Critical
Pain and swelling are common after wisdom tooth extractions. Take all medications as directed and use an ice pack as needed to help reduce swelling. Eat only soft foods and avoid hot foods or any foods that can leave fragments between your teeth, such as popcorn. The main complication you need to be careful about is dry socket. A blood clot usually forms after a tooth extraction to help the empty socket heal. If this clot doesn’t form or becomes detached before healing is complete, the bone and nerves underneath the clot area can become exposed, causing an extremely painful condition known as dry socket. Avoid drinking through a straw, rinsing your mouth, and any activity that creates suction in your mouth to keep these clots in place! Your doctor will give you complete aftercare instructions when your procedure has been completed.
Remove wisdom teeth before they become problem teeth!