Wisdom Teeth Removal in La Mesa

Here at Ben Mendel DDS, our dentist offers wisdom tooth extractions for teenagers and adults in La Mesa, El Cajon, and Spring Valley. We recommend wisdom tooth removal as soon as the teeth start to emerge. This reduces the likelihood of complications and helps ensure your mouth’s health.

Importance of Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are not present in the mouth at birth. They develop and emerge from the gums when a person is between 17 and 25 years old. It is very rare for third molars to emerge from the gums correctly. More often than not, they fail to completely emerge or grow at an angle. If they are left in the mouth, they are prone to decaying, getting cavities and breaking. If they come in crooked or impacted, they can cause infections and make it nearly impossible to brush and floss your second molars. This is why we recommend third molar extraction here at our La Mesa dentist’s office.

Having your wisdom teeth extracted as soon as possible makes them easier to remove because the roots have not fully formed. Waiting to have your third molars removed may lead to a more difficult removal and cavities and problems with your second molars, which you need to chew and break apart food.

The third molars are the most common teeth that people think of when they think of oral surgery. These teeth generally come out between the ages of 17 and 23, however, they could come out as late at 25 or so. Generally speaking, if your wisdom teeth haven’t come out by age 26, then you are probably going to be one of the “lucky” ones who won’t have to have their wisdom teeth out. Often the wisdom teeth are extracted for a number of reasons. The primary reasons include, they come in crooked, they get decay easily due to their difficult access for cleaning, they are coming in at such an angle that they are pushing the adjacent teeth and/or and they can develop a periodontal pocket easily. They often can become food traps and jeopardize the 2nd molar in front of the wisdom tooth.

Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure and Aftercare

Wisdom tooth extraction is very similar to regular tooth extractions. Your mouth will be numbed with several injections. After the medication has taken effect, our dentist will remove your wisdom teeth. If your teeth are impacted or growing incorrectly, they may need to be surgically removed and a couple of stitches may be needed to close the wounds.

Pictures of Wisdom Teeth and how they can be concerns

The back wisdom tooth is coming in nearly horizontally and not allowing proper cleansing of the back of the second molar.

This can lead to decay on the 2nd molar – which is a more critical chewing tooth. Therefore, the wisdom tooth should be extracted and the 2nd molar restored.

This shows another situation where the wisdom tooth is coming in at an angle and because of the slightly bulbous nature of the teeth, the back tooth on the right of the x-ray may never erupt fully.

This can lead to a situation similar to the x-ray on the left showing decay getting in the back of the tooth.

Wisdom Tooth Removal Aftercare

After your third molar extraction, you will be prescribed pain medication. The pain medication should be taken as needed. For the first 24 hours, it is important not to aggravate the healing gums. You should not rinse with anything for 24 hours. If you brush your teeth, make sure not to brush directly over your healing gums and rinse very gently with warm water.

You should refrain from smoking, drinking alcohol and carbonated beverages and drinking through a straw until your gums are healed. Smoking can irritate the healing gums and potentially cause dry socket and infections. Drinking carbonated beverages and drinking through a straw can dislodge the blood clots, causing bleeding and increasing your risk for dry socket and infections.

Immediately after the extraction, please place an ice pack against your jaw to reduce inflammation and swelling (20 minutes on, 5 minutes off for the rest of the day). We recommend rinsing your mouth with warm salt water after every meal and after brushing your teeth. If you are in extreme discomfort, you can place ice packs against your jaw to reduce inflammation and swelling.

Complications are rare with third molar removal. However, if you notice extreme pain, infected discharge or continued numbness, you should call our office for follow-up care and instructions.

To schedule an appointment to extract your wisdom teeth, call our La Mesa dentist office at 619-660-0022.