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Wisdom Teeth

How To Treat Impacted Teeth

Impacted teeth are teeth that become stuck under the gum or are only able to partially break through the gum. Wisdom teeth are usually the ones that become impacted because they are the last to break through the gum and the jaw doesn’t have enough space for all the teeth that are growing in. These teeth usually come in at the wrong angles and bump into teeth in front. Impacted teeth are fairly common and there are people that never have any trouble with them. However, an impacted tooth can cause concern when it becomes painful.

How to Diagnose Impacted Teeth

Impacted ToothWhen one has an impacted tooth, the first thing that one will notice is redness and swelling of the gums around the area. Occasionally, one can experience difficulty in opening his mouth and pain might be felt along the gums. A dental x-ray is going to be most definitive procedure to diagnose an impacted tooth.

When Impacted Teeth Become a Problem

It is possible for an impacted tooth to be infected, but not all impacted teeth are infected. Impacted teeth become a problem when it becomes infected or if it pushes into another tooth and can potentially misalign one’s bite or damage the nearby tooth. When this happens, teeth extraction is the usual treatment method.

How To Treat Impacted Teeth

You may opt not to have impacted teeth removed or extracted, but the risks of keeping them are:

  • Unnecessary crowding of your teeth
  • Erosion of the roots of adjacent teeth
  • A “food trap” that is difficult to brush or floss that could lead to tooth decay

Dr. Reese notes, impacted teeth almost always require extraction. The longer the extraction is postponed, the longer the tooth roots grow and when the tooth roots of an impacted tooth are allowed to develop, the risk of complication due to extraction increases significantly due to tooth roots that grow around sensitive facial nerves.

Tooth extraction is the complete removal of a tooth. It can be surgical or non-surgical. This depends on the difficulty of the extraction and whether or not the tooth is impacted or erupted, and whether it has straight or curved roots.

We understand that extractions can cause anxiety. No one looks forward to extractions. However, at Indianapolis Dentistry, our oral surgery procedures are done at our comfortable clinic under the able hands of Dr. Reese. We have strived hard to ensure that we provide the most comfortable, pain-free, and quality care we believe is possible to all of our patients. And with various sedation modalities that will allow you to be sedated and be settled in comfortably, your tooth extraction experience will be almost painless. Furthermore, Dr. Reese’s over 25 years of experience will provide you with as uneventful a surgical experience as possible.

Make Sure Your Impacted Teeth are Treated Right Away

Most people have the misconception that as long as they don’t feel any pain, they do not need to worry. Pain free doesn’t always mean there isn’t any problem. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons(AAOMS) and the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Foundation (OMFS) strongly recommends evaluation by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon by the time a patient is a young adult. Dr. Reese performs oral surgery and can properly assess and evaluate the presence of wisdom teeth, its status and suggest management or treatment in the Indianapolis area.

When is the Best Time to Get Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth are the third molars in the very back of your mouth. They are the last teeth to develop and typically come in between the ages of 17 and 25. As most wisdom teeth don’t start to come until the late teenage years, more than not, there isn't enough space left in the mouth for them to grow properly. This is when your dentist might recommend an extraction.

How Will I Know If I Have Wisdom Teeth?

Consult with Dr. Reese or your dentist about the possible presence and position of your wisdom teeth. He may advise you to have X-rays done periodically to evaluate the presence and alignment of wisdom teeth.  

Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed?

Wisdom teeth often don't grow in properly and this can sometimes cause problems. When wisdom teeth erupt through the gums, they can grow at various angles and sometimes can only partially push through the gumline. They may also position themselves horizontally, angled inward or outward, or toward or away from the second molars. Poor alignment can crowd or potentially damage adjacent molars, your jawbone, or nerves.

There are also instances when wisdom teeth remain completely hidden. When wisdom teeth aren't able to erupt through the gums, they become impacted or trapped within your jaw. Wisdom teeth removal then becomes necessary because such conditions can cause pain, inflammation, and other complications.

Is An Impacted Wisdom Tooth A Problem?

If left untreated or not extracted, impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain and damage to your other teeth. Since they may be hard to reach when brushing, they become susceptible to decay and gum disease. Remember that bacteria from the mouth can travel through your bloodstream and cause further systemic infections that might affect the heart, kidneys and other organs. When wisdom teeth only erupt partially through the gums, the eruption can become a breeding ground for bacteria and lead to an infection called pericoronitis. There are also instances when wisdom teeth become so impacted fluid-filled sacs or cysts form around them. These lead to serious damage to the jawbone and other teeth.

When Would Be the Best Time to Have Wisdom Tooth Removed?

Wisdom teeth should be extracted before they cause any problems, but it is recommended that wisdom teeth removal happen when one is between the ages of 14 and 18. During this age, the roots have not finished forming and third molars can be extracted with a lower risk and faster or better healing. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that it should be removed before any infection or inflammation happens. When one is older, roots of the teeth have finished forming, making bones harder. This makes removal more difficult and riskier with complications. Healing may also be significantly delayed.

What are the Risks of Wisdom Teeth Removal or Extraction/Surgery?

Wisdom teeth removal is more than a simple extraction, especially when they are impacted. The procedure is usually done under general anesthesia and the gum opened up and the molar removed by section. If it is severely impacted, some bone may have to be removed as well. Some risks include permanent nerve damage and post-operative complications involved with healing like a dry socket. Third molars when fully grown form roots that are close or around the nerve to the lower lip. When roots are too close to the nerve, the risk of temporary or permanent numbness to the lip can happen.

What Happens After Oral Surgery for Wisdom Teeth Removal?

In most cases, the recovery period lasts only a few days. Painkillers will be prescribed by Dr. Reese or your oral surgeon. Pain can be intense and radiate throughout the side of the face. Bite gently on the gauze pad provided, stay upright as much as possible, use an ice pack as necessary, and try to relax. You'll be eating soft foods for a while, but do not use a straw as it may prevent healing. Like any other dental problems, wisdom tooth removal is easier when done earlier before infections, damage to other teeth and pain is experienced. Recovery is faster when it is done earlier too, though it varies with every person.

What Type of Dentist does Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Most people have the misconception that as long as they don't feel any pain, they do not need to worry. Pain free doesn’t always mean there isn't any problem. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons(AAOMS)andthe Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Foundation (OMFS)strongly recommends evaluation by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon by the time a patient is a young adult. Dr. Reese performs oral surgery and can properly assess and evaluate the presence of wisdom teeth, its status and suggest management or treatment.

Why Use Indianapolis Center for Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry?

If you are located in the Indianapolis area, Dr. Reese has the experience and staff to provide the utmost professional care.

I had a great experience at Dr. Reese's office. The staff was caring, answered all my questions. I had my wisdom teeth taken out and the operation and recovery went even better than I was expecting. I didn't even experience any bruising. I would highly recommend this office." -Amanda T., Franklin

Is a Sports Moratorium Coming Up?

The Summer Moratorium is the Best Time to Get Wisdom Teeth Removed Sometimes summer can be just as busy as the school year for students involved in sports! What with all the practices and scrimmages, it's hard to find time to do anything else, let alone get to the dentists office. However, for a lot of schools, sports moratorium is coming up! This is the perfect time to get those wisdom teeth pulled on your older kids or yourself! Recovery typically takes a few days, 2-3. Painkillers are prescribed; this is usually what keeps patients down for the few days, as they will feel groggy and tired from the medication. The procedure itself takes roughly around 30 minutes. Below are a few tips to insure a quick and easy recovery to get your kids back on their feet and out on the field after wisdom teeth removal!

  • Relax!
  • Begin by eating soft foods. After awhile, you may begin to add solid foods to your diet.
  • Do not smoke for at least 24 hours after surgery.
  • Do not use straws for the first few days after removal.
  • Use salt water to gently rinse your mouth out a few times a day.
  • Avoiding rubbing or touching the area.
  • Do not lie flat. Prop your head up with pillows.

Appointments can be made by calling our office, at 317-882-0228.

High School Moratorium