In today’s modern age, wisdom teeth have no real purpose except to cause annoyance. For most people, when wisdom teeth are left in the mouth, they cause a number of issues, including pain, misalignment of other teeth, and even oral decay. That’s why so many Virginia Beach and Chesapeake area patients choose Coastal Virginia Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery for wisdom teeth removal.
By having wisdom teeth removed in a timely manner, patients can avoid painful complications before they arise.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are a set of extra molars that usually emerge in early adulthood. For humans of earlier generations, these teeth were essential as they provided a replacement for teeth that may have been lost earlier in life. However, since most people still have a full set of teeth at this age, wisdom teeth are an unnecessary and redundant addition to the mouth, which is why our doctors typically recommend that Virginia Beach and Chesapeake patients undergo wisdom teeth removal.
Reasons to Have Wisdom Teeth Removed
There are numerous reasons to have wisdom teeth removed. When left in the mouth, they can cause the following problems:
- Pain in the back of the mouth or along the jaw
- Swelling around the jaw or gums
- Bleeding from the gums
- Swollen neck and shoulder glands
- Tooth decay in teeth that have partially emerged
- Damage to surrounding teeth as the wisdom teeth try to push their way out
- Gum disease because of food that gets trapped under the gums around the partially emerged teeth
- Development of a cyst around the wisdom teeth
- Misalignment of other teeth in the mouth as the wisdom teeth try to erupt
Q: What are common signs I need my Wisdom Teeth out?
Q: Should I have my Wisdom Teeth removed if I don’t have any pain?
What Is Impaction?
One of the reasons wisdom teeth frequently cause so many problems in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake area patients is because they are usually impacted. Impaction is when a tooth does not emerge from the gum correctly. It might come out at an angle and partially emerge or be completely trapped under the gums. There are four main types of impaction:
- Mesial impaction, which is when the wisdom tooth is angled toward the front of the mouth and can partially erupt. This is the most common type of impaction.
- Distal impaction, which is when the wisdom tooth is angled toward the back of the mouth and can partially erupt. This is the least common type of impaction.
- Horizontal impaction, which is when the wisdom tooth is completely horizontal beneath the gums and therefore cannot emerge at all. Instead, it pushes against the molar next to it.
- Vertical impaction, which is when the wisdom tooth is aligned correctly and can successfully emerge from the gum without any issues.
What Is Wisdom Teeth Removal Like?
For patients in the Virginia Beach and Chesapeake area who choose to have their wisdom teeth removed by our doctors, the process begins with an initial consultation. At this visit, our doctors will assess the patient’s condition and decide what approach will work best. They’ll take X-rays to see the type of impaction and determine whether the teeth can be pulled or must be surgically removed.
Then, on the day of the procedure, patients will receive local anesthesia, sedation anesthesia, or general anesthesia to ensure they’re entirely comfortable and unaware throughout the entirety of the removal. Once the patient is relaxed, our doctors will begin by making an incision in the gums to expose the teeth and bone. If excessive bone is blocking the tooth root, they may have to remove some so they can access the bottom of the tooth. If the tooth is severely impacted, they may also cut it into pieces to remove it.
After the tooth is removed, our doctors will clean the area and close the wound with stitches to promote healing.
Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery Timeline
- Initial Evaluation – Before scheduling your wisdom teeth removal procedure, you will first visit our doctors for an initial consultation where they will perform a full oral evaluation and take needed images to develop a customized surgical plan.
- Pre-Surgery – After your surgery day has been determined, our doctors will provide you with some specific pre-surgery conditions you should be sure to follow to ensure the safety of your procedure.
- Wisdom Teeth Removal – Depending on the type of wisdom teeth removal you require, our doctors may perform a simple extraction—which occurs when the tooth is completely visible above the gum line—or a complex extraction—which is required when wisdom teeth are hidden beneath the gum line or are impacted.
- Post-Surgery – After your procedure, you will be released to a responsible adult who will escort you home. Your mouth and face will be swollen and sore for several days, and your diet will be slightly restricted. Be sure to follow the post-op instructions provided by our doctors to ensure a healthy recovery.
What Is the Aftercare for Wisdom Teeth Removal Like?
Afterward, patients may experience bleeding and pain, though neither should be very severe. Applying pressure with a compress often helps alleviate these symptoms, as does taking over-the-counter pain medications and using an ice pack.
To give their mouth time to heal, patients will need to stick to a soft foods or liquid diet for the first couple of days. They’ll also need to avoid using a straw, as this can cause a painful condition called dry socket, which is when the blood clot covering the wound is dislodged.
Choose Wisdom Teeth Removal From Our Virginia Beach and Chesapeake Doctors
If you still have your wisdom teeth, you don’t have to wait until you start experiencing painful symptoms to have them removed. Be proactive about your oral health by scheduling a consult with the doctors at Coastal Virginia Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. They can assess your wisdom teeth and let you know whether removal is the right option for you.