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Wisdom Teeth Extraction – Los Gatos, CA

Remove Problematic Teeth Safely and Comfortably

Teeth resting next to a dental instrument Dr. Dierks does everything to help you retain your natural teeth to the fullest, which is why he considers tooth removal to be a last resort. With that said, wisdom teeth often pose many long-term oral health concerns that usually require them to be removed. If he recommends treatment to remove your wisdom teeth, he’ll break down exactly why he recommends it, what you can expect from your treatment, and how to ensure a speedy and successful recovery.

When are Wisdom Teeth Extractions Needed?

Woman holding her cheek and listening to a dentist Wisdom teeth have long become relics of evolutionary history, making them obsolete in modern times. While they may have been useful in the past to replace missing teeth for our ancestors, the mouth is much smaller today than it was thousands of years ago. This means that most people cannot accommodate wisdom teeth once they appear. Even a single wisdom teeth can lead to long-term consequences to oral health, including an increased risk of decay, infections, and jaw misalignment.

Additionally, if you start to notice pain or sensitivity in the back of your mouth, swelling or redness on your gums, stiffness in your jaw, or small cysts forming on your gums near your back tooth, call our office right away so we can perform a more detailed exam and confirm the best treatment for you.

What Does the Process Entail?

Dentist performing wisdom teeth extraction in Los Gatos Wisdom teeth extractions are relatively straightforward and are performed by Dr. Dierks. You’ll be given local anesthetics to ensure you do not feel anything during the removal process. Much like a standard tooth extraction, if the tooth is easily visible and has erupted above the gum line, he will gently rock the tooth back and forth in order to remove it from the periodontal ligament. Then, he’ll firmly grasp it with a pair of dental forceps and gently remove it from the jaw. You’ll be asked to bite down onto a gauze pad so the socket can begin healing.

Alternatively, if the wisdom tooth is trapped underneath the gums or another tooth, a small incision is created inside of the gums so Dr. Dierks can access it. Depending on the orientation of the tooth, he may need to break it into smaller pieces, then remove them individually. This is a normal part of extracting wisdom teeth and is often done in cases where the tooth has become impacted.

How to Ensure a Successful Recovery

Woman smiling while resting on a couch Like with any oral surgery, it is very important that you take time to rest immediately after your wisdom tooth is removed. If you had stronger sedation provided to prepare for your surgery, you will need to have a friend or family member drive you home. In terms of aftercare, we recommend:

  • Avoiding the use of straws for at least 48 hours
  • Sticking to a soft diet for the next several days
  • Avoiding hot, carbonated, and alcoholic drinks which can irritate the wound
  • Avoiding tobacco products or forceful spitting
  • Using a dedicated mouthwash to keep your treatment area clean as it heals

Wisdom Tooth Extraction FAQs

Man smiling after completing wisdom tooth extraction in Los Gatos If you’ve never had wisdom teeth (or any tooth for that matter) removed before, we understand that you may have questions about the procedure. While we don’t consider tooth removal a first option in any circumstance, sometimes it is the best choice going forward, especially when a wisdom tooth is causing pain or other issues that can lead to long-term complications. Ahead of your appointment, we encourage you to read through a handful of the most common questions our practices hears regarding this treatment!

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Do wisdom teeth always have to be removed?

Not necessarily. However, it’s generally uncommon for any patient to not need any of their wisdom teeth removed. This is because the mouth is typically not large enough to accommodate additional teeth once all permanent teeth have erupted. As many as four wisdom teeth can appear, making it very difficult to rule out extraction entirely. More often than not, wisdom teeth are removed when our dentists recognize that long-term complications are possible if they were to remain in the mouth.

How long does wisdom tooth removal take?

It really depends on how many teeth need to be removed as well as where they are positioned in the mouth, but generally wisdom teeth extractions take about 45 minutes to an hour to complete. If you need all four of your wisdom teeth removed, it’s not uncommon to space treatment over the course of multiple appointments as it can be difficult to get all four taken out in one sitting. Additionally, wisdom teeth that are impacted and trapped underneath gum tissue can take more time and precision to safely extract, prolonging the length of treatment.

Can I wait to have my wisdom tooth removed?

Extraction of wisdom teeth is generally not a dental emergency. Of course, if the tooth is causing significant discomfort, we’ll do what we can to get started on your treatment as soon as possible. With that said, we do not recommend delaying treatment for very long when you need it. Our dentists are able to spot potential problems well in advance when it comes to wisdom teeth. The longer you wait to have them extracted, the more difficult they become to remove. This is because the roots become thicker and more integrated inside the jaw the older you get.

Can complications arise after treatment?

While complications are generally uncommon following wisdom teeth removal, there are certain conditions you’ll want to do your best to avoid. This includes dry socket, a condition where the bone tissue inside the socket becomes exposed as a result of the blood clot coming loose and falling off of the surgical site. In this case, infection can easily develop and lead to severe discomfort and damage to the nearby teeth, nerves, jawbone, and sinuses. Our team will provide tips to prevent dry socket from occurring, but if it does, always call our office right away.