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Wisdom Teeth Extraction – Pasadena, TX

Wisdom Teeth Extraction Preserves Oral Health

The word “extraction” can often be scary for some people; however, the techniques used today are far better than those performed decades ago. Thanks to modern medicine and advancements in dental technology, the team at Pasadena Family Dentistry can safely, effectively, and painlessly perform wisdom teeth removal in Pasadena. Whether these third molars come in partially or not at all, it’s better to get them out while your child is still young, so it doesn’t go on to become a problem for their oral health in the future. To find out if your child needs to have their wisdom teeth removed, call us to schedule an appointment.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

An X-ray showing impacted wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth are the third molars that appear in the back of your mouth. At one point in time, they served an incredibly important purpose – to grind and shred coarse foods; however, as humans evolved and our “hunter-gatherer” mentality decreased to almost being non-existent, these teeth became unnecessary.

Why Do I Need My Wisdom Teeth Extracted?

A young girl smiling

Somewhere between the ages of 15 to 25 years, most people's third molars begin to erupt through the gum line at the very back of their mouths. However, the modern jaw shape often can't accommodate wisdom teeth, leading to either of two unhealthy conditions: crowding of existing permanent teeth or impaction – the incoming molars get stuck in place.

Crowded teeth can misalign your bite, cause jaw pain, and lead to gum disease, causing dental problems for the rest of your life. Partially erupted wisdom teeth allow bacteria and germs to multiply, leading to infection or cyst formation; tumors may even grow on a trapped wisdom tooth.

Impacted or partially erupted wisdom teeth may force entry, pushing up in whichever direction they find the most give - sideways, vertically, backward, or forward! They can become stuck while still fully encased in the jawbone (called a bony impaction), or prior to erupting through the gums (called a soft tissue impaction). Such impaction can cause pain, swelling, and infection.

We typically examine our 11- and 12-year-old patients to predict the upcoming developmental positioning of the wisdom teeth, and our doctors here in Pasadena, TX are likely to recommend extraction between 15 and 19 years of age.

How Does the Extraction Process Work?

A patient having dental work done

While wisdom teeth extraction in Pasadena may not sound like a lot of fun, it's far better than the typical alternatives. Wisdom teeth extraction is a simple, routine surgical procedure that can usually be performed comfortably in one office visit.

Our dentists at Pasadena Family Dentistry have advanced training and experience in extracting partially and fully erupted wisdom teeth. If your wisdom teeth are impacted, we’ll refer you to a trusted oral surgeon for specialized care.

A simple extraction is conducted when the teeth have partially erupted. We will begin by administering local anesthesia before using special tools to gently move the tooth back and forth until it detaches.

During a surgical procedure, an oral surgeon will make an incision into the gums to expose the impacted tooth. Carefully, they will remove the tooth in pieces, so the process is much easier and safer for you.

Aftercare Tips

A young girl resting

During your recovery period, there are some tips you should consider the following:

  • Bite down on the gauze pad provided to you and make sure to replace them as often as needed. This will encourage a clot to form.
  • Enjoy soft foods for the few days after your procedure but avoid chewing on the side of the extraction.
  • Maintain a good oral hygiene routine.
  • Make sure to rest and relax.
  • Follow any instructions provided by the dentist with regard to pain medication or antibiotics.
  • Do not suck or sip with a straw, as it can dislodge the clot.
  • Do not smoke or use tobacco products.
  • Use a cold compress to keep any swelling down.

Wisdom Tooth Extractions FAQs

smiling young woman in dental chair giving thumbs up

Many people view getting their wisdom teeth removed as a rite of passage. Despite how common and beneficial this procedure is, there’s still quite a bit of misinformation out there about wisdom tooth extractions in Pasadena, TX. Our team members at Pasadena Family Dentistry are here to clear up any confusion you may have and address all of your concerns. To make things easier, we’ve also included the answers to some of the wisdom tooth extractions questions that we get asked the most frequently.

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What Happens If You Smoke After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

One of the most important instructions to follow after oral surgery is to avoid smoking or any type of tobacco use. Tobacco slows down the body’s healing speed and also makes it more difficult to fight off infections, which could cause all sorts of complications after wisdom tooth removal. The suction force involved in smoking could also lead to dry socket, where the blood clots over the extraction sites are disturbed. Dry socket is not only painful, but it can also slow down the recovery process and leave the area open to infection.

If you currently smoke, your dentist in Pasadena will probably recommend that you refrain from doing so for at least 48 hours prior to your wisdom tooth surgery, and for as long as possible afterward. In fact, this procedure might be the perfect opportunity to kick the habit once and for all!

Does Everyone Have Wisdom Teeth?

Most people have four wisdom teeth, but some only have one, two, or three, while a small percentage of people are missing all of their third molars. It’s not clear why some people never develop all four wisdom teeth, but genetics tends to play a role. So, if one of your parents doesn’t have one or more of their wisdom teeth, you might also be missing at least one.

With that being said, just because you don’t see or feel your wisdom teeth doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not there. The only way to identify how many wisdom teeth you have is to visit our office for regular dental checkups, where we can take X-rays.

How Should I Prepare for My Wisdom Tooth Surgery?

Every case is different, and our team will give you personalized tips ahead of your procedure so that your experience will be as smooth as can be. For one, we’ll request that you arrange for a trusted friend or family member to drive you to and from our office that day since you’ll be unfit to drive after receiving sedation. Make sure to stock up on soft foods ahead of time, as well as pick up any medications that we prescribe. Never hesitate to ask any questions you might have about what to expect; we’ll always be happy to help!

What Can I Eat After Wisdom Tooth Extractions?

Eating the right foods after wisdom tooth surgery is crucial to making a smooth and speedy recovery. For the first several days, you should only eat soft foods, such as yogurt, mashed potatoes, and cottage cheese, to avoid placing too much pressure on the extraction sites. Stay hydrated, but do NOT use a straw; it could cause the dreaded dry socket. Refrain from hot or spicy foods since they could irritate your gums while they’re still healing. You should be able to gradually start adding heartier foods to your diet after about one week.