Despite your best efforts, teeth sometimes need to be removed to protect your health. When we’ve discussed all other possibilities and you’ve decided on extraction, we’ll take every step to help you. Your well-being always takes priority in any treatment decision. Some patients prefer sedation to help with oral surgery, and we can include medicated options into your plan. Regardless, we take every measure to make even minor surgical procedures as comfortable as possible.
Teeth present varied levels of removal difficulty, but Dr. KimCuc Vo takes pride in helping every patient get numb with modern anesthetics to start every procedure. Once anesthesia settles in, careful steps are taken with instruments designed to elevate your tooth out of place. Specific instructions help you care for the area after your procedure, with prescriptions for any medications needed during the healing period.
While we consider the short-term management of your care, we should also discuss your long-term plans for replacing missing teeth. Leaving a space is always an option, but spaces in your smile can create appearance and functional challenges that are important to consider. Teeth slowly shift or migrate into open spaces, and minimizing the instability of an unbalanced bite can save a number of complications later in life.
Although our primary goal is to help your teeth stay healthy and functional, we can guide you through an extraction when needed. Fortunately, your mouth can be restored back to health after tooth removal. Since teeth help nourish our bodies and support our confidence, Dr. KimCuc Vo will help you find a game plan that fits your short and long-term goals.
Wisdom Teeth Extractions
If you’re between the ages of 16-25 years, a discussion about your wisdom teeth should take place. Wisdom teeth, a third set of molars, appear in the very back of each area of your mouth: Upper left, lower left, upper right, and lower right. In a few patients, enough space exists for these molars to move into place. But most commonly, they just don’t belong, or they’re not lined up correctly. Wisdom teeth can lay entirely on their sides or lean at various angles into the neighboring teeth.
When evaluating wisdom teeth, Dr. KimCuc Vo considers four general classifications. A panoramic x-ray provides a vital tool for determining the classification of each wisdom tooth. It’s even possible one patient may display one of each type:
- Erupted: This simply means the tooth moved through the surface of the gums just like your other teeth. Eruption generally doesn’t occur before age 16, but can happen at nearly any age after that. It may have adequate space for its position.
- Soft Tissue Impaction/Partially Erupted: The top of the tooth has emerged from the bone although excessive gum tissue usually covers it. Food trapped in the gum flap can lead to decay and infection.
- Partial Bony Impaction – The majority of the tooth sits below the jawbone level, although it’s beginning to emerge. A large flap of gum lies over this tooth and leaves it prone to infection and decay as mouth bacteria slip into the area.
- Complete Bony Impaction – In this case, the tooth has not broken the surface and remains entirely encased in the bone. While the risk of infection is low, a small percentage of these will form a cyst in the jaw. This hollow space can expand and result in fracture of the jaw.
Wisdom teeth causing pain and infection give a clear warning sign that treatment needs consideration. But some problems can also slowly develop without your awareness. If you’re an adult with wisdom teeth, be sure they’re evaluated periodically for changes using a panoramic x-ray.
If you need to consider wisdom teeth removal, Dr. KimCuc Vo can discuss options with you. Various forms of sedation offer anxiety-reduction that puts this minor surgical procedure within reach of every patient that needs it.