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John P. Goodman DDS

Should You Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?

By Dr. John Goodman on August 20, 2012

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that generally grow into the gums between 15-25 years of age and pose numerous possible risks. To avoid these risks, many people have  their wisdom teeth removed. Kansas City Dentist, Dr. Goodman is able to anticipate any issues through a personalized evaluation to determine whether someone will need some or all of their wisdom teeth to be removed.

Why Remove Wisdom Teeth?

When the wisdom teeth develop and attempt to grow in and break through the gums, the process can be extremely painful. Most people experience infections, irritation, swelling and many other symptoms that effect daily activities and sleep. Commonly there is pain due to the teeth growing in improperly because of limited space.

Impacted Wisdom TeethWith overcrowding issues allowing little or no space for teeth to grow i there is the likelihood for impaction, where a tooth cannot or only partially emerges. Food and bacteria can get trapped in the impacted tooth under the gums causing an infection or decay also making it hard to clean. Rather than enduring the possibility of these likely painful issues due, it is recommended to get your wisdom teeth removed as soon as your dentist recommends. Unfortunately for some, waiting until there is pain or an infection can make the whole experience very traumatic. 

What To Expect for Wisdom Teeth Removal

Dr. Goodman offers tooth extraction and wisdom teeth removal. However, our dentist often recommends a specific Kansas City Oral Surgeon specialist depending on the patient's preference and also to utilize sedation dentistry if anxiety is an issue. Dr. Goodman has found that it is usually more difficult or traumatic for the patient to be awake for the procedure. A visit to the Oral Surgeon Specialist will usually only take an hour and there will be no recollection of the surgery if sedation is used. It is always best to discuss your options with Dr. Goodman to find out which option is right for you. 

Insurance Coverage & Benefits

If you have benefits for this procedure, most dental insurance plans will usually cover treatment after the deductible has been met along with a (usually 20%-50%) copay due at the time of service. Have your dental insurance information readily available for the dental office or oral surgeon, otherwise you will be expected to cover  the entire balance out of pocket. If you are seeing an Oral Surgeon (and not your general dentist) make sure that office is in network or that you have out of network benefits to maximize your benefits.

Post Wisdom Tooth Removal

The healing process after oral surgery can take about a week or two for recovery. To ensure that proper healing occurs and to avoid infection, there are precautions to be aware of and instructions to follow after surgery. 

  • If stitches are required, most oral surgeons use ones that dissolve. If regular stitches are used, there will be a follow up evaluation with the patient for the removal of the stitches . 
  • You can expect pain, swelling, and soreness to last a day or few following the surgery. Ice packs, anti-inflammatory pain medication and antibiotics are usually recommended and prescribed by the oral surgeon or dentist.
  • Bleeding usually lasts about 24 hours post-surgery and gauze is used to bite on and collect blood. Gauze should be changed once filled with blood. 
  • The oral surgeon or dentist will usually give a pack of syringes to fill with water to clean out the sockets to avoid infection.
  • Continue to brush and floss regularly with caution, but avoid alcohol based mouthwash rinses and sore areas.
  • Soft foods such as ice cream and soups are recommended, but avoid foods such as chips and anything likely to increase pain or inflammation.

Dry Socket

A dry socket occurs when the blood clot that protects the bone and nerve post-extraction, comes out of the socket. There are several instructions to follow in order to prevent  a dry socket. Avoid straws, sucking, smoking, or spitting to ensure the blood clot does release from the socket where the tooth was pulled. If the blood clot comes out, the bone could become exposed to air and cause a dry socket to develop.  Dry sockets are extremely painful and want to be avoided at all costs. Drink plenty of of water and avoid carbonated beverages like soda and beer that could also cause a dry socket. 

If you are unsure whether you or your child may need their wisdom teeth removed, call 816-842-8585 or schedule an appointment with Dr. Goodman for a personalized evaluation.  If you would like to learn more about our friendly dental office, please "Like Us" on Facebook and "Follow Us" on Twitter. 

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