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Wisdom Teeth 101: What Are They and Why Am I in Pain?

Oral Surgeon Office TeamAs humans, we face many milestones in our lives, one of these milestones is having your third set of molars come in — your wisdom teeth. Unfortunately, these molars don’t make people any wiser. Oftentimes, people don’t have room in their mouths for them and must get them removed. Your dentist will be able to judge whether you get to keep your wisdom teeth.

If your dentist decides you don’t have room for your wisdom teeth, you’ll have to have a surgical tooth extraction to have them removed. A dentist may use dental cone-beam computed tomography to create 3D images of the mouth, compared to 2D images created by traditional x-rays, to determine if wisdom teeth need to be removed.

If there isn’t enough space, wisdom teeth can cause a variety of problems. A surgical tooth extraction may be necessary if:

The wisdom teeth aren’t in the right position

The wisdom teeth don’t have room to erupt

The wisdom teeth are impacted

The wisdom teeth only partially erupt

The wisdom teeth are moving other teeth

If there isn’t room or the wisdom teeth are causing other issues, then you’ll most likely have to undergo wisdom tooth removal. Fortunately, wisdom teeth removal is one of the most common oral surgery procedures, as not many people have room for extra teeth.

If your wisdom teeth are coming in improperly, you may experience quite a bit of pin. While every patient is different, many patients experience pain and discomfort when their wisdom teeth are coming in. Therefore, there are many wisdom teeth extraction benefits — removing these teeth can ease discomfort and make it easier to take care of your teeth.

The extraction procedure itself is simple in most cases. If a wisdom tooth has erupted, it can be removed just like any other tooth. But oftentimes, wisdom teeth are removed before they erupt to avoid any additional problems. In this case, the gums will have to be cut open to reach the tooth. The process may become a little more complicated when wisdom teeth are impacted, but an experienced oral surgeon will be able to get the job done correctly.

Hopefully, you’ll luck out and won’t need your wisdom teeth removed — or you won’t have any at all! If you do have them, make sure to listen to your dentist and have them removed if recommended to avoid complications.

What exactly is a Dental Implant?

Missing teeth are more common than you may think. In fact, about 69% of Americans between the ages of 35 and 44 have one or more missing tooth. Did you know one in four Americans older than 74 have none of their natural teeth left? While missing teeth are common, that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck with a gaping hole in your mouth. Fortunately, there are dental implant procedures that can give you back your smile. But what exactly is a dental implant? To answer that question, this article is going to provide some important things to know about being a dental implant patient.

First things first, it’s important to understand that a dental implant isn’t the replacement tooth. The implant is a replacement for tooth roots and provides a solid foundation for a replacement tooth to be put on. These replacement teeth are made to match your natural teeth to provide a seamless smile.

Oral Surgery Check There are plenty of advantages patients can receive from having a dental implant procedure. Some dental implant procedures may include:

§  Improved appearance of your smile

§  Easier eating and speaking

§  Increased oral health

§  Alleviated discomfort

§  Increased convenience and durability

 


Dental implant surgery is a great option for anyone who is healthy enough to undergo the procedure. It’s a safe, successful alternative to having missing teeth and can significantly improve the life of the patient.

However, it is important to note that the dental implant procedure is not quick. In fact, it takes numerous procedures to have a replacement tooth put in. The procedure starts with meeting with an experienced oral surgeon, who will determine the best course of action to take. After the treatment plan is established, the root implant is placed into the bone socket where the tooth is missing. The jaw bone will heal around the implant, creating a solid foundation. This healing process can take multiple weeks before the next step can be performed. After the jaw bone has healed, a connector, called an abutment, is secured to the implant. And after the replacement tooth, called a crown, is created, it is attached to the abutment.

So while this process may take longer than expected, it’s worth it in the end. Dental implant teeth look and feel just like real teeth and can bring a new sense of self-confidence to those who are missing teeth.

Nitrous Oxide Q and A

Do I Qualify for Nitrous Oxide?

When it comes to more complex dental procedures, like an impacted tooth removal or oral bone graft, dentists may opt to use nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is a gas that provides conscious sedation to the patient to allow the oral surgeon to perform the procedure without causing the patient extreme discomfort or pain. Using this gas is one of the most effective ways to conduct a difficult dental procedure, but not many patients know why or when it is used.

Why and when is nitrous oxide used?

Some dental procedures are more complicated than others. During these procedures, nitrous oxide is commonly used to help the patient relax and stay still to avoid causing complications during the procedure. This colorless, odorless gas acts quickly and doesn’t have any serious side effects. Nitrous oxide is administered safely to help manage discomfort, pain, and anxiety in dental patients. With about three million people having dental implants and 500,000 more becoming dental implant patients each year, there are numerous situations that may require nitrous oxide. An experienced oral surgeon will be able to determine if a patient requires nitrous oxide and if they think it would be beneficial during their procedure.

Dental procedure example or oral surgeon example

Who qualifies for nitrous oxide?
For the most part, there are few patients who don’t qualify for nitrous oxide. This harmless gas can be used with almost every patient to help them relax during a variety of dental procedures, like impacted tooth removals, wisdom tooth extractions, and more. However, there are certain people who generally will always be recommended this gas. These people may include:
Children who need complex dental work

Patients who experience anxiety during dental procedures or visits

Patients who don’t want local anesthesia

Patients who have a strong gag reflex

Patients who require an excessively painful procedure

Overall, nitrous oxide is a safe, fast-acting gas that can be used in a variety of dental situations. For patients with anxiety or fear of pain, this gas can help them relax and get the necessary dental work done. So, whether you need to undergo an impacted tooth removal or another complex procedure, ask your dentist or oral surgeon if nitrous oxide could be a good option.

Reasons to Make That Tooth-Hurty Appointment with Your Dentist

Oral pain can be excruciating and can make daily tasks such as talking and eating extremely difficult. The best way to reduce your tooth or gum pain is to seek out professional dental care as soon as possible. A dental professional will be able to identify the source of your pain and suggest possible treatments.

There are many reasons you could have a toothache or oral pain, and the treatment you receive will be based on the diagnosis.

Cavity
Cavities are caused by tooth decay, a type of damage to your tooth that begins to eat away at the inner or outer layer. Cavities can be extremely painful, and depending on how severe they are, the necessary treatments will vary. Usually, your dentist will drill out the decayed part of your tooth and then fill the cavity. However, if your cavity is severe, then you might have to get a crown. A crown is used when the tooth is so decayed that not much of it is left. During this procedure, your dentist will remove and repair the decayed part and then fit a crown over the rest of the tooth. In some cases, the decay has damaged the root or pulp of your tooth so badly that you’ll need a root canal. In this procedure, your dentist will remove the decay as well as the pulp of your tooth and will usually install a crown afterward.

Abscessed Tooth
An abscess refers to a sack of pus that will develop around the root of an infected tooth. An abscessed tooth isn’t something you can treat on your own, you’ll need to visit a dentist or endodontist to get it treated. If you leave it alone, the infection could spread to your jaw, head, and neck. An abscessed tooth is usually caused by advanced tooth decay, a cracked tooth, or gum disease. Impacted wisdom teeth are the molars at the back of the mouth that can’t develop normally due to lack of space to emerge and are often removed. However, the common treatment for an abscessed tooth is a root canal, which was detailed above. Sometimes you might need surgery to drain a certain type of abscess, called a periodontal abscess.

While most people wish to avoid a surgical tooth extraction, it can sometimes be the only means of relieving oral pain. If your tooth is the cause of your pain and there are no other means of repair, a dentist will suggest a surgical tooth extraction procedure for your benefit. However, you can deny such a procedure if you choose, although it’s highly recommended that you follow the advice of your dental practitioner.

If you’re in need of an implant, oral or jaw surgery, and/or a tooth removal, then contact the office of Implant, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons of Washington today.

How Can Patients Alleviate Pain After Oral Surgery?

If you must undergo oral surgery, like wisdom teeth removal or dental implants, you may be nervous about the pain during recovery. Unfortunately, all oral surgery comes with some amount of pain and discomfort, but by following your surgeon’s aftercare instructions carefully, you can alleviate pain while recovering. This article is going to provide some basic “do’s” and “don’ts” when it comes to reducing pain after oral surgery.

 

Do’s

One of the most important things to remember while recovering from oral surgery is to follow the instructions your maxillofacial surgeon gave you. While recovery for each person may vary, there are a few things every patient should do.

Take it easy. After surgery, you’re probably not going to be feeling all the great. It’s important to listen to your body and get the rest you need. Lying down and avoiding too much physical activity will allow your body to rest and begin repairing itself from the procedure.

Stick to a soft-food diet. While you may be craving a big, juicy burger, you’re going to cause yourself pain if you try to jump right back into your normal eating habits. Instead, try sticking to soft foods like yogurt, Jello, soup, smoothies, and mashed potatoes. This will decrease the risk of causing irritation to the surgical site.

Keep up with oral hygiene. Your maxillofacial surgeon will tell you when you’re allowed to rinse your mouth and brush your teeth. When this time comes, it’s important to keep your mouth as clean as possible. This includes things like rinsing with warm water, brushing after meals, and keeping food out of the surgical site. Trapped food may cause irritation or infection, so it’s important to keep up with the cleaning.

Don’ts

You will be provided strict guidelines of what not to do following your oral surgery, but there are a few important things to remember.

Don’t drink alcohol or smoke right away. Both smoking and drinking alcohol can inhibit your mouth from healing as quickly as it can. Furthermore, inhaling smoke can possibly dislodge clots that need to form for the surgical site to heal. Because of this, try to wait at least a day or two before smoking.

Don’t consume hot food or drinks. Your mouth will most likely be numb for a while after the procedure, you won’t be able to feel pain from too-hot drinks or food. This can lead to burning your mouth, which will cause more pain and require further healing.

Don’t forget to take prescription medication. If your maxillofacial surgeon has prescribed medication, like antibiotics or pain medication, and has given you strict guidelines for taking them, make sure to follow them. Skipping out on important medications, especially antibiotics, can have severe consequences. So be sure to finish a prescription when necessary.

 

It’s important to remember that your pain should be getter better every day after surgery, so if it gets worse then something may be wrong. If you choose an experienced oral surgeon and follow these tips and your surgeon’s instructions carefully, you’ll be recovered from your wisdom tooth extraction in no time. Fortunately, today’s technology makes oral surgery more efficient and effective. In fact, according to scientific literature, dental implants have a 98% success rate. But if you have any concerns, like excessive bleeding, the formation of dry sockets, or possible infection, contact your surgeon’s office for further instructions.

Debunking 3 Misleading Myths About Dental Implants

It’s estimated that 69% of Americans between the ages of 35 and 44 have at least one missing tooth, and one in four over the age of 74 have lost all their natural teeth. Many people say that dental implants are the tooth replacement option that most closely resembles the look and feel of natural teeth. But before you determine whether dental implants are the right tooth replacement option for you, it’s important to understand the truth behind the many myths of the surgery. Here are just a few common misconceptions you may hear about dental implant procedures.

Dental Implants Are High-Maintenance

This myth may have arisen from the fact that many other options for tooth replacement do have some maintenance involved. But dental implants are different — they don’t require any more maintenance or care than your normal teeth. This is true whether you have partial dental implants or single-tooth implants. You can still eat and drink all the foods you used to prior to the dental implant surgery. If you’re still uncertain, just ask your dental implant surgeon.

Dental Implant Patients Have A Long Recovery Time

This is a subjective statement, but it’s just not true. The healing period is different for all dental implant patients, but it typically lasts anywhere between four and six months. However, it’s important to keep in mind that unlike other tooth replacement options, dental implants are the most durable and have an incredibly long lifespan. The only reason the extended healing time is needed for some patients is that the dental implant root needs enough time to correctly bond to the bone and provide a solid adhesion. For most patients, it’s completely worth the wait.

Dental Implants Are Painful/Uncomfortable

This is a complete myth. When placed and maintained properly, you should feel no pain at all. Some patients do report slight discomfort during and after the procedure, but it’s to a much lesser degree than other replacement options.

Ultimately, understanding the truth behind these misleading misconceptions is the key to determining whether dental implants are right for you. For more information about oral surgery procedures, contact Implant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons of Washington.

What to Know About Drinking After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom teeth removal is an outpatient procedure done on 5 million Americans every year. In fact, you probably know a great number of people who have undergone the surgery themselves. Ultimately, every patient’s experience is different, but there are a few things every person should and shouldn’t do before and after. One of those things relates to drinking alcohol after you have your teeth removed. Here’s what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to indulging in alcohol after tooth extraction.

Alcohol After Tooth Extraction: What to Do

Imagine it’s summer and you have several graduation, birthday, and other parties lined up. But you just had your wisdom teeth removed. It can be kind of hard to decide whether you can partake in any alcohol-related activities following your procedure, even if the procedure was done a few weeks back. Before hopping on the beer or wine train, ask yourself if you are still taking (or are supposed to be taking) medication. If you are still taking any type of medication for potential pain following the procedure, you are going to need to read the label on the bottle. If the prescription label tells you to stay away from alcohol, you need to do that.

Alcohol After Tooth Extraction: What Not to Do (And the Risks)

If you are still on pain medication for your wisdom teeth, the pill bottle will probably instruct you not to drink. Mixing alcohol and pain medication can cause some serious issues both in your mouth and the rest of your body. You can cause some serious damage to your liver, could fall asleep at the wheel if you choose to drive after drinking while on medication, and can be more susceptible to falling or becoming injured. Ultimately, if you’re still taking any type of medication, whether the prescription label or does you to avoid it or not, just say no to drinks for a few weeks.

When it comes to wisdom tooth removal or wisdom tooth extraction, there is much more to think about other than your teeth themselves. If you are in the situation where you’re given the opportunity to have a drink following your procedure, look above at what you shouldn’t do and what you should do.

Do Wisdom Teeth Affect Braces?

For those people who have wisdom teeth, they usually erupt in early adulthood. Wisdom teeth may cause dental issues like overcrowding, especially if they’re impacted. However, many people have plenty of room for their wisdom teeth and they have no problems with them. During this age frame, many people also get braces or just have them removed. People are often concerned that the eruption of their wisdom teeth will affect the progress they’ve made with braces.

 

Like previously stated, many people have their wisdom teeth come in with no problems. The teeth grow in straight and don’t affect the person’s bite. So overall, no, wisdom teeth do not cause significant overcrowding in the front of the mouth or severely disrupt any progress that was made with dental work like braces. However, if they do not come in correctly or if a person’s jaw simply doesn’t have room for the new teeth, they can cause overcrowding among the back teeth.

It’s important to note that wisdom teeth are not the sole reason a person’s teeth begin to move. It’s been confirmed that people’s teeth move over time with or without the help of wisdom teeth. Additionally, when people have their braces removed, they may neglect to wear their retainers. Without the use of the retainer, a person’s teeth may begin to shift again.

While wisdom teeth may not necessarily cause a major issue with the dental progress that has been made with braces, there may still be reasons to have a wisdom tooth extraction. There are many wisdom tooth concerns that may call for tooth removal surgery, including:

Crowding of back teeth

Infected gums

Bone defects

Root resorption

Dental diseases

If a wisdom tooth becomes impacted or doesn’t erupt straight up, this can cause significant problems for the person. While some people may experience absolutely no problems with their wisdom teeth or get lucky enough to not have any of these extra molars at all, others may experience problems with them. Fortunately, impacted tooth removal is a common procedure and can provide relief from any pain and discomfort caused by these teeth. In fact, wisdom teeth removal is more common than dental implant procedures, which about three million people have every year.

It’s important to remember that it’s perfectly normal for your teeth to move as you age. If your wisdom teeth are beginning to come in and are causing you pain and discomfort, your dentist may refer you to an experienced oral surgeon to discuss having them removed.

Understanding Dental Implant Procedures

Dental and jaw issues can range from irritating to downright horrible. One of the worst issues pertaining to dental problems, however, is that they don’t discriminate. Obviously, the elderly and individuals who don’t take care of their teeth are more susceptible to serious tooth problems, but they can strike anyone at any time.

When dental issues become too severe, teeth removal might be the only option. Sadly, a large percentage of American adults have lost either one or multiple teeth over the years — and some have lost more than just a few teeth. In fact, according to prosthodontists, more than 35 million Americans are currently missing all their teeth in either one or both jaws.

Luckily, there are quality dental implants that you can have placed inside your mouth that look good as new and feel stronger than ever. Dental implant surgery, though it sounds intimidating, isn’t nearly as scary as you might think. Your best bet to calming your nerves before, during, or even after an invasive dental procedure is to speak with an experienced oral surgeon.

These skilled surgeons have years of experience with all kinds of dental problems, so no matter how poor quality your teeth are or how severe your dental problems can get, they have seen worse and will know exactly how to help you.

Though talking to a dental professional before an invasive procedure is important when you’re feeling worried, another reason you should meet with an experienced oral surgeon is so that you can be fully prepared for your dental implant surgery. Your dental professional will inform you of everything you need to do before your dental procedure.

If you want to learn more about dental implant procedures (or additional oral surgery procedures), or simply speak with an experienced oral surgeon to help quell your fears, contact Implant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons of Washington right away.

 

Can Wisdom Tooth Pain Cause Ear Pain or Sore Throats?

In early adulthood, many people experience their wisdom teeth erupting from their gums. Wisdom teeth are molars that grow in the back of the mouth. It is believed that wisdom teeth were helpful to distant ancestors who had diets that consisted of rougher, tougher foods and needed them to help them chew those foods. But what can we expect from wisdom teeth today? This article is going to go over some basics regarding wisdom teeth, including pain and other symptoms.

Problems may arise with wisdom teeth when there isn’t enough room for the teeth to fully come in. This is believed to happen because our distant ancestors had larger jaws to accommodate the extra teeth while most of us today don’t. This can lead to needed a wisdom tooth removal. Fortunately for those who do have enough room, wisdom teeth will come through normally and feel like any other tooth. There may be some occasional pain while the teeth are coming through but once the tooth comes in, the pain will stop. So, when is there serious pain and symptoms?

Unfortunately for most people, their jaws are not large enough to accommodate the new teeth coming in. This can lead to impacted wisdom teeth or even infected wisdom teeth.

An impacted wisdom tooth occurs when it is blocked from fully erupting through the gums. This leads the tooth to be at an angle instead or upright. If this happens, it can lead to a variety of additional problems when impacted tooth removal is not done quickly. While it is possible that some impacted teeth cause no pain or problems, some common symptoms of an impacted wisdom tooth may include:

Pain and swelling of the gums

Bad breath

Aches in the jaw area

Difficulty opening the mouth

Tenderness around the swollen gum area

Earache

If a wisdom tooth is impacted or fails to erupt correctly, this can also lead to infection. Because of the angle of the tooth, brushing and flossing can prove to be difficult. If food and bacteria get caught between the teeth, tooth decay and infection may occur. Like impacted wisdom teeth, an infection can come with a few common symptoms:

Inflamed, tender gum

Pain around infection

Pus coming from the gum

Swollen lymph glands

A sore throat

Difficulty swallowing

Fever

Other medical or jaw conditions like TMJ disorder, which 35 million Americans have been diagnosed with, can increase the pain and symptoms associated with problematic wisdom teeth. Luckily, impacted tooth surgery is extremely common and takes care of any painful symptoms caused by wisdom teeth.

Wisdom tooth removal should be scheduled when wisdom teeth become problematic. You may luck out and have plenty of room for your wisdom teeth or even have none at all. But for those who do have them, it’s important to ask your dentist and oral surgeon about wisdom tooth removal. An experienced oral surgeon will be able to address your situation and figure out the best option for alleviating your pain and discomfort.