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    Answering Some Common Questions about Wisdom Tooth Removal

    Last updated 2 months ago

    Your baby teeth and permanent teeth both form prenatally, although they do not erupt right away. In contrast, your wisdom teeth develop well after birth. They won’t start erupting until you’re around the ages of 17 to 24. Most people need to have their wisdom teeth removed because there isn’t enough space in the mouth for them. Failure to remove wisdom teeth may result in complications, such as cyst formation and damage to adjacent teeth. If you’re anticipating a wisdom tooth extraction, the information below can help you understand what to expect.

    Should All of My Wisdom Teeth be Removed?
    It’s always a good idea to ask your oral surgeon whether all of your wisdom teeth need to be extracted. Many people prefer to have them all taken out in one session because they only need to have the procedure once. In addition, having them all taken out in one session eliminates the need for multiple recovery periods.

    Will I be Awake During the Procedure?
    Talk to your oral surgeon about your anesthesia options. Many people prefer to have general anesthesia, with which they will be asleep during the procedure. This is particularly ideal if you do choose to have all of your wisdom teeth removed in one session. However, some patients prefer to have a combination of local anesthesia to numb the pain and nitrous oxide to provide light relaxation.

    How Should I Prepare?
    You can prepare for a wisdom tooth extraction by asking the oral surgeon any questions you might have. Disclose your full medical history, including medical conditions, medications, and supplements. Tell the oral surgeon whether you have any allergies, such as a latex allergy, or if you’ve ever had an adverse reaction to anesthesia.

    How Long is the Recovery?
    Although each patient is unique, you can generally expect to resume light activities the day after your procedure. It’s best to avoid strenuous activities for at least a week. Be sure to arrange transportation home after your surgery.

    The Center for Oral & Facial Surgery provides comprehensive oral surgery care, including wisdom teeth extraction. Our oral surgery practice in San Diego prides itself on providing a warm, welcoming environment with the latest oral surgery equipment and techniques. To schedule a consultation, please call (619) 312-4417.

    A Look at Third Molar Surgery

    Last updated 2 months ago

    Wisdom tooth extraction is sometimes referred to as third molar surgery. Wisdom teeth generally erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. However, wisdom teeth often do not have enough space to erupt properly. They may only partially erupt or they may grow sideways, affecting the health of other teeth. Wisdom tooth extraction resolves these problems and prevents complications.

    To learn more about third molar surgery, watch this video. You’ll see several helpful animations and you’ll hear from oral surgeons about the benefits of having the wisdom teeth removed. You’ll also learn what you can do to prepare for the procedure.

    If you have any questions about preparing for an upcoming tooth extraction, contact the Center for Oral & Facial Surgery at (619) 312-4417. Our oral surgery practice in San Diego is the oldest and largest in the county.

    A Look at the Common Causes of Tooth Loss

    Last updated 2 months ago

    Tooth loss may occur suddenly from physical injuries or over time as the result of extensive damage and disease to the tooth. Tooth loss is a serious oral health problem, as it leads to the breakdown of the underlying tissues and bone structure. If you have lost a tooth, talk to your oral surgeon about replacement options, such as dental implants. For information on the common causes of tooth loss, take a look below.

    Periodontal Disease
    Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is the most common cause of tooth loss. It is a progressive disease that begins with the inflammation of the gums, called gingivitis. If left untreated, the underlying bone structure can become so damaged that the tooth is no longer supported properly. Periodontal disease is most often the result of poor oral care. It can occur when plaque is allowed to build up on the teeth due to lack of brushing and flossing. Failing to see a dentist regularly for professional cleanings is another risk factor for periodontal disease. Additionally, those who use tobacco products and those with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, and rheumatoid arthritis, are at a higher risk of gum disease.

    Tooth Decay
    Tooth decay can often be treated with a filling. However, in some cases, the infection becomes so widespread and severe that the dentist isn’t able to save the natural tooth. In these cases, an oral surgeon must perform a tooth extraction.

    Physical Trauma
    It’s possible to suffer tooth loss due to physical trauma. If you play a contact sport, such as football or hockey, you’re at a higher risk for losing a tooth due to injury. Wearing a custom mouthguard during each practice and game can help keep your teeth safe.

    Although prevention is the best policy for your oral health, you do have options if you suffer the loss of a natural tooth. At the Center for Oral & Facial Surgery, our oral surgeons provide both tooth extractions and dental implants for San Diego-area residents. Contact us at (619) 312-4417 with any questions you may have about tooth extraction or dental implants.

    Tips for Reversing Bone Loss in the Jaw

    Last updated 3 months ago

    Bone loss in the jaw often occurs as a result of periodontal disease. When your teeth do not have sufficient bone mass to support them, they can become loose and they may even fall out. The loss of a tooth can also contribute to further bone loss. The only way to reverse bone loss is to undergo bone grafting surgery, which replaces the lost bone mass with a substitute such as bovine bone or a synthetic compound. You can also take a few steps to slow down and halt the loss of additional bone matter.

    Your first step is to follow a good oral care routine. Remove plaque by brushing at least twice daily, flossing at least once daily, and visiting a dentist at least every six months. You should also quit smoking, if applicable, and eat a healthy diet. Consume foods rich in calcium and vitamin D every day to support bone mass.

    The oral surgeons at the Center for Oral & Facial Surgery have extensive experience in bone grafting with Bio-Oss, which is a natural bone substitute. Residents of the San Diego area can reach us at (619) 312-4417. We also offer tooth extractions and dental implants.

    What to Expect Following a Wisdom Tooth Extraction

    Last updated 3 months ago

    Wisdom teeth typically erupt in the late teen years and early 20s. These four teeth, located in the back areas of the mouth, usually need to be removed to allow the other teeth to have sufficient space. When there isn’t enough space in the mouth, the wisdom teeth may erupt improperly, causing pain and potential complications. If you’re anticipating the extraction of your wisdom teeth, talk to an oral surgeon about what you can expect during your recovery period.

    Limit Activities
    After your wisdom tooth extraction, you should stay at home and rest. You can resume most activities the following day. However, avoid exercise and other strenuous activities for at least a week because these increase the risk of dislodging the blood clots and delaying healing. You should also stick to eating soft, non-chewy foods after your surgery. Some examples include applesauce, yogurt, pudding, and gelatin. Avoid hot beverages and foods, such as soup, for at least 24 hours.

    Ease Discomfort
    Follow your oral surgeon’s post-operative instructions for alleviating discomfort after a wisdom tooth extraction. Your oral surgeon may provide you with a prescription for pain medication—be sure to follow the dosage instructions carefully. You can also alleviate discomfort and reduce swelling by holding an ice pack to the exterior of your jaw.

    Promote Healing
    After your procedure, your oral surgeon will likely instruct you to bite down gently on a piece of sterile gauze. This helps stop the bleeding. During your recovery, you should avoid the use of drinking straws, which can dislodge the blood clot and cause dry socket. Additionally, you should lie with your head elevated. Remember to take antibiotics as prescribed by your oral surgeon. Brush your teeth very gently, avoiding the surgical site. Starting on the day after your surgery, you can swish warm salt water gently around your mouth.

    For wisdom tooth extractions and other oral surgery needs, San Diego residents are encouraged to turn to the Center for Oral & Facial Surgery. As the leading establishment in the area for oral surgery, our team provides exceptional patient care and two convenient locations. To schedule an appointment, call (619) 312-4417.

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