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Wisdom Teeth Removal and Recovery

The third and final set of molars, most people get their wisdom teeth in their teens or early adulthood. Some lucky people are unaffected by their wisdom teeth because they grow in healthy and correctly aligned. However, most people experience problems with how their wisdom teeth are aligned and need them removed. At West Meade Dental, we specialize in wisdom teeth extraction. By examining X-rays of your mouth, we can tell whether or not your wisdom teeth will need to be removed. We recommend you have your wisdom teeth extracted as early as possible because the roots are not fully developed and the bone is not as dense in younger people. The older you are when you have these teeth removed, the longer the recovery and healing time will be. We would like to tell you more information on wisdom teeth removal and its recovery process.


Why would I need my wisdom teeth removed?

You need your wisdom teeth removed if you experience any of the following problems:

  • your jaw may be too small for your wisdom teeth, which could become impacted and unable to break through your gums
  • your wisdom teeth may only break halfway through your gums and cause a flap of gum tissue to grow over them
  • one or more of your wisdom teeth are coming in awkwardly, with the top of the tooth or teeth facing forward, backward, or to either side.

What does the wisdom teeth extraction process involve?

First we will give you a local anesthetic on the area where we will be removing the tooth to numb it. If we will be removing more than one tooth, we will give you a general anesthesia to prevent pain in your entire body and to put you to sleep through the procedure. To remove the wisdom tooth, our dentist will open up the gum tissue over the tooth and remove any bone covering the tooth. Then the tissue connecting the tooth to the bone will be separated to remove the tooth. After the tooth is removed, you may need stitches, which will dissolve over time.

What is the recovery period like?

Generally, it only takes a few days to recover from wisdom teeth removal. Be sure to take your painkillers as directed, and try the following suggestions from WebMD:

  • Do not lie flat as this may prolong bleeding. Prop your head up with pillows.
  • Use an ice pack on the outside of your cheek for 15-20 minutes at a time for the first 24 hours. You can then use moist heat by laying a warm, damp washcloth on your cheek for the next few days.
  • Relax after your surgery. Do not attempt physical activity, which can increase bleeding.
  • Eat soft foods for the first several days, and begin adding solid foods as your healing progresses.
  • After the first day, rinse your mouth with warm salt water several times a day to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Continue to brush and floss your teeth, but do so very carefully.

Have more questions about wisdom teeth and their removal? Contact West Meade Dental to ask our staff anything else you would like to know.

What is a Root Canal?

I Need a Root Canal?!?

If you’ve been told that a root canal is in your future, fear not.  Take solace in knowing that you are not alone.  Millions of teeth are treated and saved each year with root canal treatment.  Most of the time, a root canal is a relatively simple procedure with little or no discomfort involved; it generally involves one or two visits to your dentist’s office.  Best of all, the procedure can save your tooth and your smile.

To best understand a root canal procedure, it helps to have a basic understanding of the anatomy of the tooth.  Inside your tooth, under the white enamel and dentin (another hard layer), is a soft tissue called the pulp.  The pulp is home to blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue; it helps to grow the root of your tooth during development.  A fully developed tooth can survive without the pulp because the tooth itself will continue to be nourished by the tissues surrounding it.

Root canals have been unfairly used as a way to scare patients away from good oral care. If the dentist says you need one, they are simply trying to save a tooth.

Root canals have been unfairly used as a way to scare patients away from good oral care. If the dentist says you need one, they are simply trying to save a tooth.

A root canal treats the inside of the tooth and is necessary when the nerve of the tooth becomes infected or the pulp becomes inflamed or damaged.  The inflammation or infection can stem from a variety of causes: decay, repeated dental procedures on the same tooth, faulty crowns, and/or a crack or chip in the tooth.  In addition, trauma to a tooth may also cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks.  If the inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause severe pain and/or lead to an abscessed tooth (a pus-filled pocket that occurs at the end of the roots of the tooth).

During the actual root canal procedure itself, the inflamed or damaged pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned thoroughly before being disinfected.  The tooth is then filled and sealed.  Afterwards, the tooth is restored with a crown or filling for additional protection.  After the entire process is completed, the tooth continues to function much like any other tooth in your mouth.

This process helps you maintain your natural smile, allows you to continue eating the foods you love, and limits the need for ongoing dental work.  With proper care, most teeth that have undergone a root canal can last as long as the other natural teeth in your mouth.  Root canal procedures have the reputation of being painful.  Most patients report that the procedure itself isn’t anymore painful than getting a filling.  The actual discomfort comes during the period before the individual decides to call the dentist.  So what are you waiting for?  Call to make your appointment today!

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