Wisdom Teeth Removal in Walnut Creek, CA
Remove Third Molars To Prevent Oral Health Issues
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, usually emerge around the age of 17 or in the early twenties. The average mouth does not have enough room for an additional set of molars, which is why dentists and oral surgeons recommend having them removed early.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons like Dr. Karas specialize in removing these teeth. Maintaining regular checkups with your dentist will help them track the development of your wisdom teeth, and they will refer you to an oral surgeon when it is time to have them extracted. Contact Muir Oral, Facial, & Dental Implant Surgery today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Karas and to find out if you need your wisdom teeth removed.
Why Remove Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth can often become impacted, or trapped beneath the gums. When this happens, the tooth grows at an angle toward the neighboring teeth. This can damage the other teeth and nearby nerves, as well as cause other teeth to shift out of place.
Canine teeth in the front of the mouth can also become impacted, but because they are crucial for a healthy bite, they are guided into place with an expose and bond procedure. Wisdom teeth, however, are not necessary for proper oral health and function and are simply removed.
An Impacted Wisdom Tooth Can Cause:
Partially erupted teeth become traps for food, leading to bacteria and plaque buildup. This causes infections, which can progress to gum disease or tooth decay if left untreated.
Tumors and Cysts
Cysts, or fluid-filled sacs, or tumors can form in the tissue around an impacted wisdom tooth. These can damage the jaw bone and nearby teeth, and become more difficult to treat the longer wisdom teeth remain in the mouth.
Bacteria in your mouth can cause bad breath. When there is an infection present due to wisdom teeth, you may experience ongoing bad breath, gum tenderness, and cavities.
Wisdom teeth are large and strong. If they grow sideways, they bump into adjacent teeth and can push them out of alignment. This can lead to other teeth shifting out of place and bite problems.
We recommend removing wisdom teeth early because younger patients tend to have smoother recoveries. Additionally, the wisdom teeth are easier to remove when they are not fully developed. Dr. Karas can remove wisdom teeth at any age. If you're unsure whether or not you have wisdom teeth, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with our team.
The Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure
During your first visit, we will take detailed 3D scans of your mouth. These digital images tell us where nerves are located and the exact shape and size of your wisdom teeth. We offer many anesthesia options, although you will likely be under IV sedation. This puts you into a semi-conscious state where you are able to answer questions asked by your surgeon, but are not aware of the procedure and do not feel pain.
Dr. Karas will extract visible wisdom teeth with forceps, similar to a standard tooth extraction. To access teeth below the gums, Dr. Karas will make a small incision in the gum tissue. He may break large teeth into smaller pieces for easier extraction. Any incisions will be stitched closed, and you will rest in our recovery area until the anesthesia wears off.
Some procedures will take longer than others depending on the number of wisdom teeth and if any are impacted. A typical wisdom tooth extraction procedure is performed in less than 1 hour.
Prior to undergoing IV sedation, you must not have anything to eat or drink for 6 hours before surgery. You must have a responsible adult present in the office during your surgery to drive you home afterward. This person should stay with you for 24 hours to assist you while you’re under the effects of anesthesia.
Our office will provide you with detailed post-operative instructions. You can use over-the-counter pain medications and ice packs to minimize pain and swelling. These instructions will explain how to rinse your mouth and brush your teeth after surgery. If you ever have questions, please contact our office.
What Is the Cost of Wisdom Teeth Removal in Walnut Creek, CA, and Is It Covered By Insurance?
The exact cost of having your wisdom teeth removed varies from person to person, as everyone’s needs are different. We take several factors into the cost, including how many wisdom teeth you have, your dental insurance, your choice of anesthesia, and if you have any impacted wisdom teeth. We will provide you with a cost estimate prior to performing treatment.
Most dental insurance companies have some level of benefits for wisdom tooth extractions. To find out your coverage, contact your insurance company ahead of time.
Hear From Patients
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I get all my wisdom teeth removed at once?
We recommend having all of your wisdom teeth extracted at the same time. Leaving wisdom teeth untreated can open the possibilities of oral health complications. Even if a wisdom tooth is not causing pain, it should still be removed because it is rare that a wisdom tooth develops properly without causing issues.
What happens if you wait too long to get wisdom teeth out?
Leaving wisdom teeth untreated can lead to impaction, infection, or the formation of cysts and tumors. They can push other teeth out of alignment and cause damage. Wisdom teeth have large, unpredictable roots that can grow toward the roots of the other molars or facial nerves. You can have wisdom teeth removed at any age, but the sooner the better, as younger patients typically have easier recoveries and the teeth have not fully developed.
How long does swelling last after wisdom teeth removal?
Swelling is normal after surgery and typically peaks by the third day. You can reduce swelling by applying an ice pack to the side of your face for 10 minutes, then transferring to the other side for 10 minutes. You can also keep your head elevated with pillows for the first 3–4 days to reduce the severity of swelling.
What can you eat after wisdom teeth removal?
Start with clear liquids, such as apple juice, tea, or broth, and return to a normal diet as tolerated. If you were sedated for surgery, do not eat fatty, creamy, or oily foods; these foods may cause nausea. For the first week after surgery, eat only soft foods. Avoid hard, crunchy, or very chewy foods while your extraction sites heal.
To prevent dry socket, do not use a straw for the first 3 days after surgery. Dry socket occurs when the blood clot within the empty tooth socket becomes dislodged.
How Can We Help You?
Contact our office to schedule an appointment or use the buttons below to learn more about our practice.