If you didn’t have your wisdom teeth out as a young person, you may be wondering about having them out as an adult. Your dentist may have recommended that you prevent future infections, cysts or pain in the jaw due to wisdom teeth that are growing under other teeth – known as impacted teeth. Even a type of tumor has been linked to impacted wisdom teeth.
Impacted teeth result when the wisdom tooth grows up under an existing tooth. Sometimes, adults have wisdom teeth that come in completely straight behind back molars. In rare cases, one or more of these teeth don’t grow at all. An x-ray can reveal the presence of the teeth. Impacted teeth cause problems with existing teeth and must come out.
Because the roots of wisdom teeth typically fully develop near the age of 24, removing them after this time can be more complicated. Roots can entwine with facial nerves, making extraction problematic. It’s recommended that adults receive a CT scan of their jaw, showing the clear positioning of facial nerves and roots, something not shown by x-rays. If the roots of the lower wisdom teeth aren’t touching or wrapped around the alveolar nerve, extraction is still possible.
Adults with wisdom teeth are at higher risk for gum disease. Gum disease has been linked to an increase of pregnancy complication and other health issues. Previously believed only to affect patients in their late 30s, this gum disease is now being shown to affect much younger patients, especially young pregnant women. Growing evidence is also connecting gum disease to inflammation due to chronic infections in the body, leading to an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Talk to your dentist today to see if you should have your wisdom teeth removed. Be honest about any symptoms you’re having, such as pain or pressure, and let the professional evaluate your specific situation.
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Wisdom teeth are the last adult teeth to erupt into the mouth, generally emerging between the ages of seventeen and twenty-one. They are the third set of molars and are in pairs: two each on the top and bottom arch of teeth. While some patients don’t have wisdom teeth, most do. Many of those who do have them don’t have enough room for those teeth to erupt fully, causing them to be wedged under the back of another tooth, impacted in the gum.
Impacted wisdom teeth are very difficult to clean, and can negatively affect the surrounding teeth. They are highly vulnerable to disease and decay and may lead to tooth pain and damage to adjacent teeth. For these and other reasons, a dentist may recommend that the teeth be extracted through oral surgery as soon as necessary to prevent any problems.
Extraction of wisdom teeth is typically an outpatient procedure done in an oral surgeon’s office. A healthy patient can proceed with a typical surgery, but if any infection is detected, the surgery can’t move forward until the infection is cleared up through the use of a full course of antibiotics. Once the surgery is moving forward, the surgeon’s team will administer some form of anesthesia to numb the area surrounding the tooth or to possibly sedate the patient through IV sedation dentistry.
After the anesthesia has fully taken effect, the surgeon makes an incision to open the gum and to remove any bone that is blocking the tooth from extraction. The tissue connecting the bone to the tooth will be separated and the tooth will be removed. In some cases, the surgeon will have to break the tooth into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove. After thoroughly cleaning the area and removing any remaining debris, the incision will be closed, stitched and packed with sterile cotton gauze to staunch any bleeding.
The surgeon will provide aftercare instructions. Patients should follow these instructions to the letter in order to ensure the best and fastest healing of the surgical site.
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Age, bad habits, and food and drink choices can all add up to be hard on our teeth. If you are unhappy with your smile and wish you could improve it, consider cosmetic dental procedures. Cosmetic dentistry offers a variety of options for restoring your smile.
One of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures, teeth whitening can either be performed at your dentist’s office or at home. Methods used by your dentist work quickly and can provide dramatic results, but many patients are very pleased with home methods as well. Home treatments may be as simple as using products you purchase at your drugstore, or your dentist can provide customized bleaching trays for home use.
Tooth-colored resin can be applied to your teeth to correct chipped, broken, stained, or decayed teeth in a single dental visit. The resin is molded onto the surface of your damaged tooth, shaped, and then polished to match your other teeth.
If you’re looking for a long-lasting and stain resistant solution to damaged teeth, porcelain veneers are a good choice. These thin custom shells are adhered to your teeth to cover them so that they provide a beautiful smile.
A material called composite resin is used to restore decayed teeth or to reshape your teeth to improve their appearance. Composite fillings can correct minor imperfections like a chipped tooth, or it can restore a whole tooth like a molar to a fully functional tooth.
Inlays and onlays
For large cavities or cracks in your back teeth, inlays and onlays may be used instead of fillings. These tooth-colored restorations are created in a laboratory, and then adhered to your teeth so they fit perfectly.
There is no quicker or easier way to dramatically improve the look of your smile than professional teeth whitening. Your dentist probably offers several whitening options and can advise you about the most appropriate type of whitening treatment to ensure your brightest, whitest smile. No matter which whitening treatment you and your dentist decide will be best, there are several tips you can follow to help you achieve the ideal result:
Have any existing dental problems treated prior to whitening to avoid side effects or complications.
Schedule a professional teeth cleaning prior to your whitening appointment to remove buildup of plaque or tartar you cannot remove with home cleaning, and provide the best surface for the whitening treatment.
Begin brushing with a desensitizing toothpaste several weeks before whitening to limit the sensitivity that can sometimes result from whitening agents.
If you are extremely prone to dental sensitivity, check with your dentist about taking a painkilling medication before your whitening appointment.
Consult with your dental office to determine how much time you should allow for your whitening appointment.
Refrain from eating or drinking anything except water for at least one hour after the completion of your whitening treatment, and avoid ingesting foods and beverages that contain stain-causing agents for no less than 24 hours.
Make sure to attend any follow-up appointments with your dentist.
Maintain excellent home oral care habits to extend the life of your whitening procedure.
By following these tips, you can boost the results of your professional teeth whitening treatment and face the world with beautiful, bright smile!
Schedule your appointment at our Morehead City dental office