Wisdom Tooth Extractions – Chicago, IL

The Wise Removal of Troublesome Teeth

While growing up, you’ve likely heard friends or family mention “wisdom teeth” at some point. These parts of your smile can sound good at first – who wouldn’t want a wise tooth or two? However, the truth is that leaving them in place often harms oral health. That’s why we at Washington Dental Care offer wisdom tooth extractions at our Chicago office. For more details about them, please keep reading or book a consultation soon.

What are Wisdom Teeth?

A dental x-ray highlighting a patient’s wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth (known as ‘third molars’) are the last adult teeth to emerge. When present, they erupt between the ages of 17 and 25 and sit in the back of your mouth.

Notably, wisdom teeth aren’t needed in the present day. They aided our ancient ancestors, but they don’t help with today’s modern diet. This fact means not everyone gets such teeth nowadays – people can be born with none, one, two, three, or all four. Wisdom teeth don’t always need removal, either.

Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed?

A 3D illustration of an impacted wisdom tooth

Some wisdom teeth can honestly pose a severe threat to your smile. In those cases, a dentist often removes them to preserve your long-term oral health.

The main issue is that most wisdom teeth lack space to erupt correctly. Modern people have smaller mouths than their ancestors, so they don’t have room for third molars. This reality can cause wisdom teeth to get trapped in your gums, causing pain, infections, cysts, etc. An emerging wisdom tooth can also lead to dental overcrowding, making your smile crooked.

Signs you may need a wisdom tooth removal include:

  • Bad breath
  • Jaw stiffness
  • Pain while eating
  • Facial swelling
  • Difficulty opening your mouth

What to Expect from the Wisdom Teeth Procedure

Dentists performing a wisdom tooth extraction surgery

Wisdom tooth extractions vary from patient to patient, as their steps depend on whether the affected teeth have erupted.

When the wisdom teeth have already erupted, the removal is simple. Our dental team will first numb your mouth (using an anesthetic) so treatment doesn’t cause pain. From there, they’ll use an elevator to lift the wisdom teeth. They’ll then use forceps to grip and wiggle them free of their sockets.

Our team takes a more surgical approach when the wisdom teeth are impacted. Once they’ve numbed your mouth, they’ll make a small incision in your gums. This step gives them better access to the tooth and ensures an easier removal. In fact, they’ll just extract the whole tooth or break it into pieces that are removed one by one.

Recovering from Wisdom Teeth Extraction

A smiling red-haired girl holding a wisdom tooth extracted from her mouth

Removing your wisdom teeth will cause your mouth to be sensitive for a while. To better recover from the process, make sure to use these after-care instructions:

  • Take over-the-counter or prescribed medications as needed.
  • Try not to drink through a straw.
  • Rinse your mouth with salt water 24 hours after surgery to clean the area.
  • Avoid foods that are crunchy, hard, and sticky.
  • Stay clear of tobacco products, as they interfere with your healing.
  • Get ample rest for the best recovery time.
  • Keep your head elevated during sleep.
  • Use a cold compress or ice pack to decrease swelling.

If anything comes up with your wisdom teeth, please call our office. We’re always ready to help you deal with third molars and the rest of your smile!