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Wisdom Teeth Removal

Before removing a wisdom tooth, your dentist will give you a local anesthetic to numb the area where the tooth will be removed. A general anesthetic may be used, especially if several or all of your wisdom teeth will be removed at the same time. A general anesthetic prevents pain in the whole body and will make you groggy or cause you to sleep through the procedure. Your dentist will probably recommend that you don't eat or drink after midnight on the night before surgery, so you are prepared for the anesthetic.

To remove the wisdom tooth, your dentist will open up the gum tissue over the tooth and take out any bone that is covering the tooth. He or she will separate the tissue connecting the tooth to the bone and then remove the tooth. Sometimes the dentist will cut the tooth into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove.

After the tooth is removed, you may need stitches. Some stitches dissolve over time and some have to be removed after a few days. Your dentist will tell you whether your stitches need to be removed. A folded cotton gauze pad placed over the wound will help stop the bleeding.

What To Expect After Surgery

In most cases, the recovery period lasts only a few days. Take painkillers as prescribed by your dentist or oral surgeon. The following tips will help speed your recovery.

  • Bite gently on the gauze pad periodically, and change pads as they become soaked with blood. Call your dentist or oral surgeon if you still have bleeding 24 hours after your surgery.
  • While your mouth is numb, be careful not to bite the inside of your cheek or lip, or your tongue.
  • Do not lie flat. This may prolong bleeding. Prop up your head with pillows.
  • Try using an ice pack on the outside of your cheek for the first 24 hours. You can use moist heat-such as a washcloth soaked in warm water and wrung out-for the following 2 or 3 days.
  • Relax after surgery. Physical activity may increase bleeding.
  • Eat soft foods, such as gelatin, pudding, or a thin soup. Gradually add solid foods to your diet as healing progresses.
  • Do not use a straw for the first few days. Sucking on a straw can loosen the blood clot and delay healing.
  • After the first day, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water several times a day to reduce swelling and relieve pain.
  • Do not smoke for at least 24 hours after your surgery. The sucking motion can loosen the clot and delay healing. In addition, smoking decreases the blood supply and can bring germs and contaminants to the surgery area.
  • Avoid rubbing the area with your tongue or touching it with your fingers.
  • Continue to brush your teeth and tongue carefully.
  • Your dentist will remove the stitches after a few days, if needed.

Why It Is Done

A wisdom tooth is extracted to correct an actual problem or to prevent problems that may come up in the future. When wisdom teeth come in, a number of problems can occur:

  • Your jaw may not be large enough to accommodate them, and they may become impacted and unable to break through your gums.
  • Your wisdom teeth may break partway through your gums, causing a flap of gum tissue to grow over them. Food and germs can become trapped under the flap and cause your gums to become red, swollen, and painful. These are signs of infection.
  • More serious problems can develop from impacted teeth, such as infection, damage to other teeth and bone, or the development of a cyst.
  • One or more of your wisdom teeth may come in at an awkward angle, with the top of the tooth facing forward, backward, or to either side.

How Well It Works

Wisdom tooth removal usually is effective in preventing:

  • Crowding of the back teeth.
  • A wisdom tooth becoming stuck in the jaw (impacted) and never breaking through the gums.
  • Red, swollen, and painful gums caused by a flap of skin around a wisdom tooth that has only partially come in.
  • Gum disease and tooth decay in the wisdom tooth, which may be harder to clean than other teeth, or in the teeth and jaw in the area of the wisdom tooth.

Root Canal (Endodontics)

Root Canal, or endodontics, is the process of removing the nerves from the roots of a tooth.  A root canal is often necessary to save an infected tooth.  If an infected tooth is left alone for a long period of time, an abscess can form.  An abscess will show up on an x-ray as a dark spot below the apex of the root.  This is actually bone loss in the jaw.  It is very important to catch this problem before it deteriorates too far.

Process

The first step of the procedure is to anesthetize the effected area.  The next step is to open an access point through the top, or biting surface of the tooth.  The doctor will then determine a working length of each canal.  Each canal is then cleaned and shaped in preparation for the filling material.  Once each canal is prepared, it is filled with an inert material called gutta percha.  The canals are then sealed.  The tooth is now ready for a restoration, which is usually a crown.  This entire procedure is often completed in two visits.

Why do I need a root canal?

There are a number of reasons why one of your teeth may need a root canal.  These include but are not limited to, a very deep cavity that extends into the nerve, a trauma to the tooth that exposes the nerve, or a crack in the tooth that extends into the nerve of the tooth.

Signs/Symptoms

  • Moderate to severe lingering toothache pain when drinking hot or cold liquids or foods.
  • Moderate to severe pain when biting on a tooth
  • Sensitivity to tapping or pressure on the tooth
  • Toothache that wakes you up in the middle of the night
  • A pimple on your gum that may release pus or blood
  • Radiating pain from one area of the mouth to another

Contact Us

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your dental care, our dental services, your dental appointment or treatment, contact us today. Phone: (916) 983-1100 Address: 785 Hana Way Ste 203, Folsom, CA 95630

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Testimonials

By Robin R., El Dorado Hills

I have been a patient for over 20 years. Service has always been great, from routine cleanings to meetings with Dr. Borrowdale. He seems to keep his office updated with latest technology, including digital imaging and crown install.

Always on time and very courteous.