Wisdom Teeth Removal in Charlotte and Cornelius, NC
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
The third molars we get are commonly referred to as wisdom teeth. They are located behind the second molars and are usually the last teeth to develop. Typically, they finish developing between the middle teenage years and early twenties, a time traditionally associated with maturity and the attainment of wisdom.
What Is An Impacted Tooth?
Most people develop 32 permanent teeth. However, their jaws are often too small to accommodate the four wisdom teeth. When inadequate space prevents the teeth from erupting, they are considered impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth are unable to erupt properly for chewing and cleaning. In such cases, Rolle Oral & Facial Surgery offers wisdom teeth removal in Charlotte, Cornelius, Huntersville, Mooresville, Statesville, Davidson, Kenansville, Concord, and the surrounding areas in North Carolina.
Wisdom Teeth Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of wisdom teeth, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to wisdom teeth are discussed.
Types of Impactions for Lower and Upper Wisdom Teeth Removal
A consultation is necessary to determine your need for lower and upper wisdom tooth removal. A panorex x-ray of your mouth and jaws will help determine if your wisdom teeth are impacted, if they have room to erupt properly, and how difficult it will be to have them removed. The types of impactions include the following:
- Soft Tissue Impaction: The gum tissue does not have space to retract for proper cleaning of the tooth.
- Partial Bony Impaction: The wisdom tooth has space to partially erupt. However, it would be unable to function properly for chewing and may create cleaning and other problems.
- Complete Bony Impaction: The tooth doesn’t have any space to erupt and remains embedded in the jawbone. If the tooth is partially visible, complex surgical techniques are necessary for removal. The position of the impacted wisdom tooth may make it difficult to remove. The size or shape of the jaw and facial structures may make the wisdom tooth removal more complex.
Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Without enough room in your mouth for your third molars to properly erupt, many problems can happen. Wisdom teeth should be removed before the root structures of the impacted teeth fully develop. Depending on the patient, this may be as early as 12 or 13 or not until the early twenties. Problems tend to become more common after age 30. If the wisdom teeth are not removed, the following problems may occur:
Pericoronitis, or a localized gum infection, is the most common clinical problem. When the tooth does not have enough room to erupt properly, the gum tissue in the area can become irritated and infected. This causes recurrent pain, swelling, and problems with chewing and/or swallowing.
An impacted wisdom tooth can cause non-infectious diseases. Cysts are areas of fluid inside the jawbone. Caused by impacted teeth, cysts can slowly expand and destroy jawbone and occasionally teeth. Unfortunately, cyst treatment can be difficult if wisdom teeth are not removed in your teenage years. Although rare, tumors are possible with the delayed removal of wisdom teeth.
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause crowding of your teeth, most noticeably in the lower front teeth after a patient has had braces. There are factors that cause teeth crowding after braces or in early adulthood including impacted wisdom teeth. Unless you have an active problem when you see the oral surgeon, wisdom teeth removal is primarily performed to prevent long-term damage to your teeth, gums, and jawbone.
Damage to Adjacent Teeth:
The second molar sits in front of the wisdom tooth. When there is inadequate room to clean around the wisdom tooth, the second molar can be negatively affected. Possible results include gum disease, bone loss, and/or decay.
What If I Don’t Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed As A Teenager Or Young Adult?
Throughout development, the roots of the wisdom teeth become longer and the jawbone more dense. While impacted wisdom teeth can be removed for patients in their thirties, forties, or beyond, the recovery period can be longer and there is a higher complication rate. Complications are often more difficult and less predictable to treat than with a younger patient. The mouth may heal more slowly and the risk of infection is higher.
If your impacted wisdom teeth are not removed early and they are completely impacted in bone, you may be advised to wait until a localized problem (ex. cyst formation, localized gum disease, or bone loss) develops. In general, healing is faster, more predictable, and less complicated when patients are treated in their teens or early twenties.
What Happens On The Day They Are Removed?
Most people choose to be sedated when their wisdom teeth are extracted. We will review appropriate anesthesia options during your consultation. We offer the appropriate anesthesia to maximize your comfort during outpatient surgical procedures. Our staff is properly trained, licensed, and experienced in providing anesthesia. Your surgery is performed in a safe environment with modern monitoring equipment and a well-trained, experienced staff. The surgical team, oral surgeon, and office facilities are regularly inspected on behalf of the Board of Dental Examiners.
On the day of your wisdom tooth removal procedure, you will take medications to lessen post-operative pain and swelling. You will need a parent or responsible adult to accompany you to the office and to stay with you for the rest of the day. The procedure itself takes about 30 to 60 minutes and you will probably be in the office for 90 minutes. Advancements in medicine and technology allow wisdom tooth removal to be performed in a manner that promotes rapid healing and reduced post-operative discomfort. We utilize state of the art sterilization and infection control techniques.
On the day of your surgery, you should not eat or drink for 6 hours or more before your procedure. Prescription medications may be taken with a sip of water. Do not try to squeeze in one “last meal” exactly six hours beforehand. The risks of anesthetic complications such as nausea and vomiting are increased if anything is in your stomach. If you fail to follow these guidelines, your procedure will be rescheduled.
At your consultation, we may provide you with a prescription for pain medication. This can be filled in preparation for your procedure. Once you are in the surgical room, we will try to make you as comfortable as possible. For sedation, we usually will place an IV in your left arm. This is quick, nearly painless, and ensures optimal delivery of your medication. Local anesthesia is used to ensure comfort and allows enough time for you to travel home and rest. You may be tired most of the day.
What Happens The Day Of Treatment?
If your surgical site requires stitches, we often use those that dissolve in 3 to 5 days and do not require removal. Your gums may feel swollen or like they are pulling away from your teeth. This is normal and will subside in several days as your mouth heals.
When the local anesthesia wears off, pain medication may be needed. Try to use non-narcotic, anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or Advil first. If that does not adequately ease your pain, use your prescription pain medication. The local anesthesia used during the procedure may linger into the following day. Do not confuse the effects of the anesthesia with an injury to your nerve. Following the procedure, start with clear liquids such as jello and broths and gradually increase your diet in substance as your body allows.
Do not consume dairy products such as yogurt, ice cream, or milkshakes on the day of surgery, as they may cause nausea and vomiting when combined with the anesthetic and pain medication. For patients taking birth control pills, if you are given antibiotics remember that the birth control may become ineffective and take appropriate precautions.
What Happens Afterwards – How Will I Feel?
The day after your wisdom teeth are extracted, you may experience minor bleeding and pain. Cover your pillowcase to avoid getting blood on it. Every patient reacts differently to surgery. Your pain may range from mild discomfort to severe pain.
Swelling should be expected following the surgery. It generally peaks on the second day and starts to come down on the third day. Use ice the entire first day to minimize swelling. The more ice you use the first day, the less swelling you are likely to have on the second day. Even if the cold from the ice is uncomfortable, please use it on the first day.
On the third day, your jaw muscles will feel stiff making it difficult to open your mouth normally. Use moist heat on your face the second and third days. This helps your muscles relax more and open wider.
Limit your activities for a few days following your wisdom teeth removal in Charlotte, NC. If you closely follow your post-operative instructions, your recovery period will be more comfortable. Give your body time to heal before resuming an active social, academic, or athletic schedule. Most patients feel more like themselves in 3 to 5 days.
Are There Any Problems?
As with any medical procedure, complications or unanticipated results are possible. Possible complications with wisdom tooth extraction includes damage to the nerve that gives sensation to the lips and tongue, sinus communication, infections, and dry sockets.
After your procedure of wisdom tooth extraction in Charlotte, NC, our staff will review your post-surgical instructions with your escort. Adhere to these instructions closely as they will help keep you comfortable following your wisdom tooth removal. If you had sedation, you will be comfortable and sleepy when you leave the office. Most patients prefer to rest without planned physical or scholastic activities for a few days.
With any medical procedure, unexpected results may occur. For wisdom tooth extraction, this may include delayed healing, infection, and numbness or tingling in your lip, chin, or tongue. Your oral surgeon will review possible surgical risks with you and answer any questions during your initial consultation.
Damage to Sensory Nerve:
The sensory nerve located in the lower jawbone supplies feeling to the lower lip, chin, and tongue. It is often very close to the roots of the lower wisdom teeth. When the wisdom teeth are extracted between the ages of 12 and 18, the roots are usually shorter and not as close to this nerve. Occasionally, when the wisdom teeth are removed, the nerve can become injured. This risk of damage to the sensory nerve increases with older patients.
When the local anesthesia wears off, it is possible to experience a tingling or numbing sensation in the lower lip, chin, or tongue. This is usually temporary and will resolve gradually over a few weeks or months. Rarely, it may result in a permanent alteration of sensation similar to that of local anesthesia. We want to make you aware of this possibility before you consent to surgery.
The upper wisdom teeth are located close to your sinuses. Extracting the upper wisdom teeth can cause an opening between your mouth and the sinus. Once again, with early removal of the wisdom teeth the roots are smaller and this complication is very unlikely. However, if an opening does appear, it will usually close spontaneously on its own.
We may give you special instructions, such as not blowing your nose for two or three days after the surgery. It is okay to wipe your nose, but do not blow it. If you have to sneeze, sneeze into a tissue keeping your mouth open. Pressure should not be created in the sinus area, as this could dislodge the healing blood clot. If you feel you may have this condition, please contact the office. In rare cases, an additional procedure may be required to close the opening.
Dry sockets are the most common problem after oral surgery. They are caused by premature loss of a blood clot in the empty tooth socket. This is more common in people who smoke or are taking birth control pills. While the upper and lower jaws can be affected, dry sockets usually occur in the lower jaw on the third to fifth day after surgery. Patients experience a deep, dull, continuous aching on the affected side(s) of the mouth. The pain often starts in the ear and radiates down toward the chin.
Symptoms of dry socket often begin in the middle of the night, and pain medication may not help. Treatment may involve changing your prescription. Sometimes it helps to put a medicated dressing in the empty tooth socket. This decreases the pain and protects the empty socket from food particles. The medicated dressing helps reduce your pain for 24-48 hours. Dressings may need to be changed every 1-2 days for up to a week. After you have been pain free for 2-3 days, the dressings can usually be removed.
The dressing is not used for healing but for pain control. If your pain medication controls the pain, the socket will heal without a dressing. After the dressing is removed, an irrigation device may help keep food particles from getting stuck in the extraction site.
Post-operative infections are also possible. An office visit and clinical exam are necessary to assess the infection. Usually, treatment with an antibiotic for one week will take care of the infection. However, if the infection persists, the area will need to be drained and cleaned.
Other temporary problems following wisdom teeth extraction include stiffness of the jaws, chafing around the lips, facial bruising, and bleeding from the extraction sites. Review your post-operative instructions for information on these common concerns. If you have concerns, don’t hesitate to call the office.
What Does Wisdom Tooth Removal Cost? Is It Covered By Insurance?
The cost of your wisdom tooth extraction varies from patient to patient. The fee is determined by the difficulty involved and the type of anesthesia used. During your consultation, Dr. Rolle reviews your x-rays, completes an examination, and determines the best anesthesia for your procedure. This helps our office create a more accurate estimate. Every insurance company differs in the amount of coverage offered for each surgical procedure. We will work with you and your insurance company to obtain maximum insurance coverage for your treatment.
Dr. Rolle uses x-rays and an oral exam to evaluate the wisdom teeth and predict the possibility of present or future problems. Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment result in improved outcomes for the patient. Usually, a dentist, orthodontist, or oral & maxillofacial surgeon evaluates patients during their teenage years.
We utilize appropriate anesthesia methods for all outpatient surgery to maximize patient comfort. Dr. Rolle is trained, licensed, and highly experienced in providing various types of anesthesia for patients.
What If I Have Questions Before Surgery?
During your consultation, Dr. Rolle will discuss your specific situation, questions, and concerns in greater detail. Ask any questions you may have. If you have additional questions after your appointment, please contact our office.
In most cases, the wisdom tooth removal in Charlotte, Cornelius, and other surrounding areas in North Carolina is performed under local anesthesia, laughing gas (nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia), or general anesthesia. These options, as well as the surgical risks (i.e., sensory nerve damage, sinus complications), will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed. Once the teeth are removed, the gum is sutured. To help control bleeding bite down on the gauze placed in your mouth. You will rest under our supervision in the office until you are ready to be taken home. Upon discharge your postoperative kit will include postoperative instructions, a prescription for pain medication, antibiotics, and a follow-up appointment in one week for suture removal. If you have any questions or need an appointment for oral surgeon for wisdom teeth removal, please do not hesitate to call us at 704-892-9500.
At Rolle Oral & Facial Surgery, our services and procedures are provided in a safe environment. We utilize modern monitoring equipment. Our staff is licensed, trained, and experienced in anesthesia techniques.