Wisdom Teeth

Fuller Smiles

Dental Clinics located in Culver City, Rancho Cucamonga, and Long Beach CA

Your wisdom teeth begin to make an appearance in your late teens or early twenties and can cause a number of oral health problems. Luckily, these troublesome teeth can be removed before they cause decay or alignment issues for your smile. Call Fuller Smiles today to make an appointment at the Long Beach, Culver City, or Rancho Cucamonga, California, locations, or make an appointment online with the scheduling tool.

Wisdom Teeth

What are wisdom teeth?

Your wisdom teeth are your third molars, the final four permanent teeth that usually erupt in your mouth in your late teens or early 20s. Some people can develop wisdom teeth with little or no complication, but wisdom teeth don’t always grow in the correct alignment, and many people’s mouths don’t have room for another row of teeth. This happens so often many dentists recommend their patients have wisdom teeth removed as a precaution when they first begin to develop.

What is an impacted wisdom tooth?

An impacted wisdom tooth is a wisdom tooth that doesn’t have room to grow, which can cause pain, swelling, infection, and a host of other complications. An impacted wisdom tooth might:

  • Grow at an odd angle to the adjacent tooth
  • Grow towards the back of the mouth
  • Grow at a right angle to adjacent teeth, as if the tooth is lying down
  • Grow at the proper angle, but stay trapped in the jawbone

In addition to being uncomfortable or painful, impacted wisdom teeth can also lead to:

  • Food becoming trapped behind the wisdom tooth
  • Infection or gum disease
  • Tooth decay in a partially erupted wisdom tooth
  • Damage to surrounding teeth
  • Development of a cyst around the affected tooth

Partially erupted wisdom teeth are especially vulnerable to decay, as they’re hard to brush and floss adequately. This decay can spread quickly if left untreated.

How are wisdom teeth removed?

First, you’ll receive an anesthetic to keep you comfortable for the procedure. Depending on how healthy your wisdom teeth are, how many of them have erupted, and their position in the jawbone, the exact type of anesthetic can vary. Some people only need a local anesthetic to numb the area, while other people choose sedation or a general anesthetic for more involved extractions.

During the extraction, your Fuller Smiles dental surgeon makes an incision in the gums and removes any bone tissue to expose the roots of the teeth. In many cases, the tooth is separated into pieces to make removal easier. Depending on the size of the incision, sutures may close it, or it is allowed to heal on its own.

You’ll probably experience some swelling and pain in the first few days after your procedure, but your symptoms should disappear quickly as your gums heal. You’ll need a friend or family member to bring you home from the office because you won’t be able to drive for a few hours after undergoing sedation.

If your wisdom teeth are causing you problems, call Fuller Smiles today, or make an appointment online.