Wisdom Teeth Removal Charlotte NC
Greater Charlotte Oral and Facial Surgery offers high-quality procedures to patients of all ages. As our experienced and trusted oral surgeons perform wisdom tooth extraction procedures at three convenient locations in the greater Charlotte area.
Why Should I Have Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last teeth to erupt or break through the gum line and into the mouth. For most people, this usually happens between the ages of 17 and 25. But for others, wisdom teeth wait longer and stay below the gum surface.
While wisdom teeth helped our ancestors eat raw meat, today we've evolved such that now they don't really serve a purpose. In fact, wisdom teeth do more harm than good if not removed. It's recommended that they are removed during the early to mid-teen years in an effort to prevent the oral health complications that are so common with untreated wisdom teeth.
Complications from wisdom teeth can include:
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
While some wisdom teeth will break through into your mouth, impacted wisdom teeth are the ones that get stuck below the gum line and never surface in your mouth. Below the surface of your gums, impacted teeth grow at odd angles causing complications and gum disease.
Wisdom Tooth Infection
When teeth only partially emerge from beneath the gums or do not fully erupt, they are challenging to keep clean. The partial opening in the gums creates enough room for bacteria to enter the tooth and the gums. When infection from the bacteria begins to formulate, many individuals experience pain, jaw stiffness, and swelling. This infection can spread to other healthy teeth and cause tooth decay.
Dental Crowding or Shifting
With four wisdom teeth growing in, there may not be enough room in your mouth or jaw bone to hold so many teeth. Crowding or shifting the jaw bone can cause severe pain and contribute to gum disease and tooth decay.
When left untreated, wisdom teeth most commonly cause pain. Not only do people feel pain and soreness at the site, but also in and around the bottom jaw bone adjacent teeth, ear, throat, or face.
These complications from untreated wisdom teeth are common and totally preventable if wisdom teeth are removed. Treating these complications can be expensive, painful, and even extensive in nature. Many dental health professionals agree that removing wisdom teeth early is an investment in your oral health.
When Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?
The American Dental Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons strongly recommends wisdom tooth removal by the time the patient is a young adult. The wisdom teeth of young adults who are in their early to mid-teen years tend to be smaller and underdeveloped. For this reason, adolescence is an ideal time for many patients to have them removed.
The underdeveloped wisdom teeth are easier to remove, and younger patients tend to heal faster and have a smoother recovery. Fewer complications tend to be experienced by younger patients, such as excessive bleeding, swelling, and discomfort.
When your child sees your dentist for regular checkups, they will monitor wisdom tooth growth through X-rays or other diagnostic scans. Once your dentist feels the time is right for wisdom teeth removal, they can refer you to a surgeon for treatment.
It is not recommended to wait until your wisdom teeth start to bother you to seek treatment and removal. In general, it is best to get wisdom teeth removed early to ensure a less complicated healing process.
Removing Wisdom Teeth for Adults
Research has found that older patients may be at greater risk for gum disease as a result of their wisdom teeth still being in place. Periodontitis in the tissues surrounding the third molars and adjacent front teeth, can affect general health in addition to oral health.
While it is easier to remove undeveloped wisdom teeth during adolescence, adult wisdom teeth can still be extracted. The process and recovery time may take longer and be a little more painful since the roots of the wisdom teeth have had time to more fully develop.
However, a high-quality surgeon with years of experience in wisdom teeth removal can make the process as smooth and as comfortable as possible. At Greater Charlotte Oral and Facial Surgery, wisdom tooth removal is commonly performed at our state-of-the-art offices in Pineville, Gastonia, and Steele Creek. Dr. Marashi is one of the most experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeons in Charlotte, providing the best care to their patients.
The Benefits Of Having An Oral Surgeon Remove Wisdom Teeth
It is not uncommon for general dentists to offer wisdom teeth extraction services to their patients; however, most patients do not realize that not every dental professional is qualified to perform the procedure. There are key benefits to choosing an oral surgeon to preform your wisdom teeth extraction.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are required to spend at least 4 years of training in a hands-on, hospital-based residency program in addition to earning their dental degree. After having completed years of training, followed by a residency, oral surgeons learn all there is to know about both wisdom tooth extraction, teeth removal and the entire maxillofacial area.
Most people would prefer to have their extraction under general IV anesthesia versus just using local anesthesia because it is much more comfortable for patients. Oral surgeons train alongside medical anesthesiologists to safely and effectively administer anesthesia. If a dentist or oral surgeon is not qualified or trained to administer local anesthesia well, it can result in deadly consequences.
Some general dentists are able to perform extractions with proper training, but only oral surgeons are trained and qualified experts in the wisdom teeth removal procedure.
Charlotte Wisdom Tooth Removal Surgery: What To Expect
During your initial consultation, your surgeon will explain what to expect during the procedure and develop the best plan for the wisdom tooth extraction, itself. Our doctors will consider your medical history and develop an individualized treatment plan to address all of your questions or concerns.
Many patients are nervous when they hear that they need to have their wisdom teeth removed. To ease pain and anxiety during treatment, Greater Charlotte Oral and Facial Surgery offers a range of anesthetic and sedative options including:
Your Charlotte oral surgeon will review these options with you and choose the anesthetic that is right for you. You may be given specific instructions not to eat or drink anything before the procedure based on the anesthetic option for oral surgery you choose.
The removal procedure length is dependent on the number and position of the wisdom teeth to be removed and the age of the patient. During the procedure, your surgeon will gently open the gum tissue, separate the tooth from the bone, and remove it from the mouth. Sometimes, small stitches will be made in the gum tissue to assist in healing. Most stitches will dissolve on their own after a few days.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction Recovery
Immediately following your wisdom teeth surgery, you will be numb from the local anesthetic. As the local anesthesia wears off gradually, you will start feeling some tenderness. This can be managed with NSAIDs and/or prescription pain medication only.
To keep from irritating the tender areas that are beginning to heal, it is best to avoid eating hard, chewy, or hot foods that can easily irritate the empty sockets and forming blood clot. You will get to easily enjoy smoothies and yogurt during the initial healing period! Anything soft (food you can swallow without chewing) is the perfect meal after your wisdom teeth removal procedure. If you have any questions about certain foods, please ask us! We are here to help!
You may experience some swelling and mild discomfort following surgery as part of the normal healing process. Cold compresses and an ice pack may help decrease the swelling, and your doctor may prescribe medication to help manage the discomfort. You may be instructed to modify your diet following surgery and later progress to more normal foods. We will give you a full overview of proper post-operative care instructions before your surgical procedure itself.
Non-Addictive Pain Management for Wisdom Tooth Removal
While recovering from wisdom teeth surgery, our goal is for patients to be comfortable but also safe. That's why we offer patients a new prescription medication and management solution: Exparel, a non-opioid medication that helps control pain after wisdom teeth surgery. Exparel releases a local anesthetic at the first extraction site because of the surgery, offering long-lasting pain relief with just a single dose. Exparel is non-addictive and many patients who get Exparel end up not needing prescription pain medication.
Cost Of Wisdom Tooth Removal In Charlotte
Since every treatment plan is different, the exact cost of your wisdom teeth removal will be unique to you. The number of wisdom teeth extracted, the anesthesia selection, and the type of insurance will all factor into the final cost of wisdom teeth removal.
Greater Charlotte Oral and Facial Surgery accepts several forms of payment and works with many insurance plans to make the cost of wisdom teeth removal services as reasonable as possible for patients. We encourage you to schedule a consultation appointment to receive the most accurate estimate for treatment. You can also review our Financial & Insurance Policy to learn more.
Wisdom Teeth Removal FAQs
If I can't feel my wisdom teeth, do they still have to be removed?
Many people do not feel their wisdom teeth, but that doesn't mean that they are not there or that nearby teeth do not pose any risk. If they are positioned under your gums in a way that will damage or misalign your other teeth or if they are at risk for infection, they will be recommended for removal, even if you are asymptomatic.
What is an impacted wisdom tooth and how serious is it?
When single or multiple teeth are trapped beneath the surface of the gums, these teeth are what we call impacted wisdom teeth. Because impacted wisdom teeth have not erupted, it makes it difficult for people to know if they even have them. Your general dentist or surgeon will likely detect the presence of incoming wisdom teeth early through conventional X-ray technology during regular visits for cleanings or checkups.
Is wisdom tooth removal painful?
This is not typically a painful procedure because the area will be numb with a local anesthetic. In addition, patients can opt for IV anesthesia to make the procedure more comfortable. If at any point during the removal process you feel pain, you should tell your doctor who can adjust the anesthetic or procedure as necessary.
What happens after surgery?
While the recovery period depends on the individual patient, most people will fully recover from surgery over the course of 2 weeks. During this time, initial swelling of the cheeks and mouth will gradually decline.
Wisdom Teeth Removal in Charlotte
To request a consultation and learn more about our services, please call Greater Charlotte Oral and Facial Surgery today! We look forward to helping you improve your oral health and smile!