Wisdom Tooth Extraction


The wisdom teeth are third molars that usually emerge between ages 15 and 24. Wisdom teeth frequently become impacted or infected, which causes issues with the surrounding teeth and can take a toll on an otherwise healthy mouth. Your dentist in Pasadena performs wisdom tooth extraction at Sierra Smiles.

Why We Have Wisdom Teeth

Our ancestors needed wisdom teeth to replace the ones they lost chewing tough roots, raw meat, nuts, and other damaging items. But today we thrive on softer foods, and our dental hygiene has greatly improved, too. Unfortunately, our mouths have not evolved as fast as our diets — and there is rarely enough room in the jaw for the smooth eruption of the wisdom teeth.

Problems Associated With Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth often become impacted or infected when there is inadequate space in the jaw for them to come through. Impaction is the partial eruption of a tooth. A third molar may partially erupt and cause a soft tissue impaction, where part of it comes through the gum but the majority remains hidden. Partial-bony impaction means most of the tooth is encased in bone. A full-bony impaction refers to a tooth that is totally trapped in the jawbone and does not erupt at all.

Pain and infection are likely to occur with all types of impaction. People with problematic wisdom teeth are more likely to experience tooth crowding, tooth decay, and gum disease. Watch out for the following warning signs of wisdom teeth that need extraction.

  • Pain or swelling in the back of the jaw
  • Visibly erupted wisdom teeth
  • Foul odor from the back of the mouth
  • Crowding of surrounding teeth

For young patients, a dentist may recommend checking for the presence of wisdom teeth with an x-ray around age 13 or 14. Patients whose third molars that are likely to present problems if they do erupt may benefit from preventive extraction.

What to Expect From Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Thanks to offerings in modern dental care, tooth extraction is performed more comfortably and efficiently than ever before. Sierra Smiles offers sedation dentistryfor added comfort.

To remove impacted wisdom teeth, your dentist surveys the tooth and makes a plan for its extraction. First, the gum is opened and any surrounding bone tissue is removed. The wisdom tooth is removed in a single or multiple pieces and the gum is closed.

Recovery following wisdom tooth extraction requires careful eating, drinking, and cleaning to avoid disrupting the blood clot. Promote faster healing by maintaining a soft foods diet, and do not rinse your mouth or drink through a straw to keep the clot intact. The typical recovery following wisdom tooth extraction lasts from a few days to a week.

Follow your dentist’s cleaning instructions carefully and take any pain medications as directed to ease discomfort. Let your dentist know if your symptoms worsen or do not improve after several days.

Questions? Contact Sierra Smiles Today

If you have questions about a recent or upcoming wisdom tooth extraction in Pasadena, we invite you to get in touch with Sierra Smiles. We are the experts in performing comfortable, efficient tooth extractions — contact us today!

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