Wisdom Tooth Extractions – Alexandria, VA
Painful Wisdom Teeth
You don’t need your wisdom teeth to keep your smile functioning normally, so if they cause more harm than good in your mouth, they should be removed quickly. If you experience persistent pain near the back of your mouth or other symptoms that could point to wisdom tooth problems, our team at Northern Virginia Oral, Maxillofacial & Implant Surgery can remove the tooth in question to stop your pain and prevent further oral health issues through gentle wisdom tooth extractions in Alexandria, VA.
Why Choose Northern Virginia Oral, Maxillofacial & Implant Surgery for Wisdom Tooth Extractions?
Various Forms of
- State of the Art Techniques and Technology
- Board-Certified Oral Surgeons and Staff
Indications for Wisdom Tooth Removal
Some people can keep their wisdom teeth for their entire lives, while many others must have them removed. An extraction is typically required if:
- The wisdom teeth remain completely hidden underneath the gums, meaning they’re trapped (impacted) within the jaw.
- The wisdom teeth only emerge partially through the gums.
- The wisdom teeth start to crowd or damage the other teeth.
- The wisdom teeth are linked to infection, pain, cysts, tumors, and tooth decay.
The wisdom teeth typically erupt during the late teens or early 20s, which is long after all the other teeth have erupted. Without enough space to emerge, the wisdom teeth often become trapped underneath the gums, which is not only painful, but tends to increase the risk of infection. Impacted wisdom teeth can be removed as soon as it’s determined that they are likely to cause problems in the mouth.
What to Expect After a Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Recovery takes about three to four days on average, although it could be as long as a week in some cases. You should be able to return to your normal routine the day after surgery, but you should still avoid strenuous exercise, smoking, spitting, and drinking from a straw; these activities could dislodge the stitches or blood clot protecting your wound. Plan on eating soft foods at first and working your way up to more solid meals. Call us immediately if pain, swelling, or bleeding grows worse.
Wisdom Teeth Q & A
You probably already know that wisdom tooth extraction is a fairly common procedure, but how much do you really know about the wisdom teeth themselves and the process for removing them? We answer some frequently asked wisdom teeth questions below; reach out if you want to know more.
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are your third set of molars and are typically the last teeth to erupt in your smile. They’re called wisdom teeth because they usually come in between the ages of 17 and 25 when you’re expected to have attained wisdom.
For modern humans, wisdom teeth don’t serve much of a purpose. They were more necessary for early humans when their diets were quite a bit rougher. Some people can keep their wisdom teeth, but most people don’t have enough room in their mouths, causing them to become stuck under the gumline. There are three different types of impactions:
- Soft Tissue Impaction - Your wisdom tooth erupts through your jawbone but doesn’t fully penetrate your gum, leaving the crown of your wisdom tooth either fully covered or only partially exposed.
- Partial Bony Impaction - Your wisdom tooth has partially erupted through your jawbone, but some or most of it is still stuck beneath the bone.
- Complete Bony Impaction - Your wisdom tooth is entirely submerged beneath your jawbone.
Do I need my wisdom teeth extracted?
Some of the more common dental problems associated with wisdom teeth include:
- Crowding - Your smile might not have enough room for an extra set of molars, which can put pressure on your other teeth and lead to their misalignment.
- Damage to Nearby Teeth - The teeth directly next to your wisdom teeth (your second molars) can frequently be affected by the emergence of impaction of your wisdom teeth, leading to periodontal disease, tooth decay, and possible bone loss.
- Infection - If your wisdom teeth are partially impacted, they’re highly susceptible to trapping food and bacteria in your gum tissue, which can lead to a dangerous and painful infection.
- Disease - Cysts and tumors can occasionally form in the areas of your smile around impacted wisdom teeth, though this is a less common concern.
What’s involved in wisdom tooth removal?
The team at Northern Virginia Oral, Maxillofacial & Implant Surgery first examines your smile to determine whether your wisdom teeth are posing enough of a threat to your health to necessitate extraction. They visually examine your smile and take panoramic or digital X-rays to aid in their evaluation.
If extraction is the best course of action, your oral surgeon removes your wisdom teeth in a relatively straightforward outpatient procedure. The procedure typically takes place under local anesthesia, intravenous (IV) sedation, or general anesthesia. You can expect a full recovery within one week.
Begin your wisdom tooth assessment today by scheduling an appointment with the team of experts at Northern Virginia Oral, Maxillofacial & Implant Surgery. You can book your visit by phone or online.