Wisdom Teeth Removal

At some point, most people need wisdom tooth removal. It’s not worth it to wait to see what type of damage your third molars do, that’s why our dentists recommend wisdom tooth removal for the majority of our patients at our Portland, Oregon, dental clinic.

What Are Wisdom Teeth For?

Wisdom teeth — so-called because they come in so much later than the rest of your adult teeth — when you have gained some “wisdom” — were originally needed to chew tough or fibrous foods. Now that we cook most of our food and tree bark is no longer part of our diet, our needs have changed. Because of this, our jaws have grown smaller, but alas, wisdom teeth still grow — at least for most of us.

Dentists remove wisdom teeth because we don’t need them, and because they can wreak havoc in our mouths.

What’s So Bad About Wisdom Teeth?

Allowing wisdom teeth to emerge is a risk. Once the tooth breaks through the gumline, it has been growing and forming roots for some time. It’s likely that it has already disrupted some of your other teeth. The longer you wait, the worse it may get, possibly negating any orthodontic work you may have had done. Additionally, your gum tissue may start to grow over the top of a partially emerged tooth, creating pockets that can trap bacteria and cause infection.

Impacted wisdom teeth are even more dangerous. They are trapped beneath the gumline, sometimes at an angle or perpendicular to your other teeth. From this position, they can push your other teeth out of alignment or press on nerves and cause pain.

Even if a wisdom tooth emerges without damaging your other teeth, wisdom teeth are hard to clean because they are so far back in the mouth. For this reason, cavities are found in these teeth more often.

What Happens with Wisdom Tooth Removal?

Wisdom tooth removal is quick and painless. In fact, it usually only takes a few minutes, depending on how many wisdom teeth you’re having removed at a time. It’s painless because it’s done under IV sedation, so you won’t even remember having your wisdom teeth out. You’ll just wake up and it will be over. For this reason, you need to arrange to have someone drive you to and from your appointment at our dentist office.

Discomfort afterward is usually easily managed by taking ibuprofen. If you develop swelling around the jaw (“chipmunk cheeks”), apply ice packs at regular intervals. Your diet will be restricted for a few days to soft foods like mashed potatoes and pasta to give your mouth time to heal.

Best Portland Dental Clinic for Wisdom Tooth Removal

At our Portland dentist office, we provide complete dental care, including wisdom tooth removal, orthodontia, cleanings, restorations, dental implants and other teeth replacement solutions.

Call our dental clinic today to make an appointment to find out if you need wisdom tooth removal.