Unlike our early human ancestors, we no longer need wisdom teeth to properly chew our food, and impacted wisdom teeth can actually have a strongly negative impact on your oral health. At Quality Dental Care in Hopewell Junction and Pawling, New York, Haitham J. Ennabi, DDS, offers wisdom teeth extractions to help maintain the smiles of his patients who don’t have room in their mouth for their wisdom teeth. To learn more or to schedule your extraction, call the offices today or book your visit online.
Wisdom teeth are your third set of molars in the very back of your mouth. They’re called “wisdom teeth” because they typically come in during your late teens or early adulthood when you’re expected to have attained wisdom.
Wisdom teeth were more essential for early humans, whose diet of uncooked meats and roots, leaves, and nuts necessitated more grinding surfaces to crush up food for digestion. They’re relatively unnecessary now that we can soften food by cooking it and cut and crush it with utensils.
Not everybody gets all of their wisdom teeth anymore, and some people are able to live with wisdom teeth, but for many people, there simply isn’t enough room in their jaw to accommodate a third set of molars, leading to their wisdom teeth becoming “impacted.” Fully impacted wisdom teeth get stuck under the gum, while partially impacted wisdom teeth break through the gums, but not all the way.
There is a debate about whether or not impacted wisdom teeth should be removed if they’re not causing any symptoms. Some dentists believe that they should always be removed in order to prevent future problems, while other dentists believe that it’s fine to leave them alone.
Impacted wisdom teeth can lead to the development of a number of oral health problems, such as:
Wisdom teeth are also hard to clean, which can lead to food getting trapped in them.
Wisdom tooth extraction is a fairly simple outpatient procedure, so you’ll be able to go home immediately after the surgery.
Dr. Ennabi or your oral surgeon will use a combination of local anesthetics to numb your mouth, sedation anesthesia to relax you, and general anesthesia to put you to sleep during the procedure. Once you’re anesthetized, Dr. Ennabi or your surgeon makes an incision in your gum and removes the tooth, then closes up the incision with stitches.
The whole procedure usually takes around 30-60 minutes. You’ll be able to resume your daily activities for a few days after the surgery, but it might take up to six weeks for your mouth to completely heal. You’ll need to eat soft foods for a while after the surgery, and will have to avoid drinking through a straw. Dr. Ennabi can recommend pain medications that you can take to ease your recovery and will suggest that you use cold compresses to reduce any swelling.
To learn more about wisdom teeth, or to schedule an appointment to have yours extracted, call the Quality Dental Care offices today or book your visit online.