While most people have their first two sets of molars by the time they’re about 12 years old, the third set, often referred to as wisdom teeth, typically erupt in your late teens or early twenties. Because wisdom teeth are prone to impaction, crowding, and other problems, they’re often removed to protect your oral health. At Le Chabot Dental in San Leandro, California, Dr. Andy Le and Dr. Robert Lu examine wisdom teeth and provide extractions when needed. Call or book your appointment online today.
It's not always necessary to remove wisdom teeth. In fact, as long as they have enough room to erupt and form a proper bite relationship, wisdom teeth are just as useful as your other molars.
Unfortunately, wisdom teeth can be affected by a variety of problems, either before or after they erupt. Two of the most common reasons that wisdom teeth are extracted include:
Wisdom teeth that are impacted, or remain beneath the gums, usually don't have enough space to erupt. Although this isn't always a problem, it can become problematic if it causes pain and inflammation.
Partially erupted wisdom teeth act as a breeding ground for bacteria by allowing food to get trapped beneath your gums. In addition to potentially causing an infection, partially erupted wisdom teeth can be quite painful.
Fully erupted wisdom teeth may become candidates for extraction when they're severely infected. Abscessed wisdom teeth and excessively decayed wisdom teeth are also commonly extracted.
Wisdom teeth removal often is recommended at the onset of problems or pain, but if the team at Le Chabot Dental can see that wisdom teeth won''t have enough room to erupt, they may recommend early removal.
Removing wisdom teeth during the adolescent years is often a good way to avoid impaction or crowding problems, both of which can damage neighboring second molars.
Platelet rich fibrin (PRF) is created from an autologous blood sample that gets centrifuged and placed into the surgical site as a clot to aid in the healing process after certain oral surgeries such as a tooth extraction or dental implant. It is considered one of the latest oral surgery techniques, used to improve healing and immune support while minimizing post-op discomfort.
A patient's blood is drawn intravenously and placed in a PRF centrifuge machine and spun down to create a membrane. Once the centrifuge process is completed, the patient's fortified blood then gets placed into the surgical site to stimulate bone and soft tissue growth, and promote healing.
Following surgery, the PRF stimulates the body's natural regeneration process for up to 14 days, accelerating the healing process. In most cases, PRF reduces the healing time by 50 percent, enabling patients to get back to their normal routine is less time.
Anyone who has undergone dental surgery—even just a simple tooth extraction—knows that recovery can be uncomfortable and takes a long time. At Le Chabot Dental, we believe a speedy recovery is a key to maintaining good, oral health. Be sure to ask our team about PRF at your next visit.
Following the procedure, your body's healing mechanisms form a blood clot to slowly fill in the bone where the teeth used to be. This part of the healing process usually takes about a day or so. During this time, it's especially important to keep the extraction sites, or sockets, as clean and clear of any food debris as possible.
For the first 24 hours after your surgery, avoid rinsing your mouth to promote quick healing. The first time you do rinse, swish the water gently so you don't damage the blood clot that's still in the process of forming.
You can continue to brush your teeth normally as you heal, but take care to avoid the tender extraction sites and the surrounding areas.
Sometimes, a healing wisdom tooth socket becomes infected, causing a condition known as dry socket. Dry socket occurs when no blood clot forms in the empty tooth socket, causing the bony socket walls to remain exposed and open to infection.
If you feel intense or unusual discomfort at any extraction site soon after having your wisdom teeth removed, make an appointment to see your dentist at Le Chabot Dental immediately.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!