Wisdom teeth are types of molars found in the very back of your mouth. These teeth usually appear in late teens or early twenties but may become impacted (fail to erupt) due to lack of room in the jaw or angle of entry. The most common type of impacted wisdom tooth is “mesial,” meaning that the tooth is angled forward toward the front of your mouth.
When a wisdom tooth is impacted, Dr. McNamara may need to remove it. If it is not removed, you may develop gum tenderness, swelling, or even severe pain. Impacted wisdom teeth, even if they are partially or fully erupted, tend to be quite difficult to clean and are susceptible to tooth decay, recurring infections, and even gum disease.
Wisdom teeth are typically removed in the late teens or early twenties because there is a greater chance that the teeth's roots have not fully formed and the bone surrounding the teeth is less dense. These two factors can make extraction easier, and make the recovery time much shorter.
Each patient's situation is unique. Dr. McNamara will usually take a panoramic X-ray to determine whether your wisdom teeth will need to be removed. If he recommends removal of your wisdom teeth, it is best to have them removed sooner rather than later.
Wisdom Tooth Removal at Mid-Columbia Dental
Wisdom tooth removal can usually be done in one visit to our Kennewick dental office. To remove a wisdom tooth, Dr. McNamara will first numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. He can use additional medication to safely sedate you during the extraction if you are feeling nervous about the procedure. Learn more about our sedation options here. Since the impacted tooth may still be under the gums and imbedded in your jaw bone, Dr. McNamara will need to remove a portion of the covering bone to extract the tooth. To minimize the amount of bone that is removed with the tooth, he may “section” (cut into small pieces) your wisdom tooth so that each piece can be removed through a small opening in the bone.
Once Dr. McNamara extracts your wisdom teeth, the healing process begins. Healing time varies depending on the degree of difficulty related to the extraction. Dr. McNamara will let you know what to expect and will provide instructions for a comfortable, efficient healing process.