Wisdom Teeth Removal Q & A

How do you know if you need your wisdom teeth removed?

If your wisdom teeth are coming in crooked, growing sideways, or crowding your teeth together, it may be time to think about wisdom teeth removal. If they’re causing you pain, that’s another sign that Dr. Koeppen may need to remove your wisdom teeth. If you’re unsure about your need for wisdom teeth extraction, schedule an appointment with Dr. Koeppen. He examines your teeth and can discuss the options available.

Do you have to have surgery to have your wisdom teeth removed?

Wisdom teeth removal does not always require oral surgery. For many patients, Dr. Koeppen uses local anesthesia and removes the tooth in the same manner of any other tooth extraction.

In some cases, however, as when the wisdom teeth are impacted, oral surgery may be necessary. In these cases, Dr. Koeppen uses a general anesthesia. Once he’s prepped the patient for surgery, he cuts open the gums to remove the tooth. Sometimes a small amount of bone may need to be removed from the top of the tooth. At other times, he may have to break the tooth into smaller pieces to remove it.

Once the tooth is removed, the area is cleaned, and Dr. Koeppen stitches the gums together with self-dissolving thread.

How do you care for your gums after wisdom teeth removal?

After Dr. Koeppen extracts your wisdom teeth, he’ll review your aftercare instructions. He may prescribe medication for pain, or he may recommend taking over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. The doctor may tell you to rinse with warm salt water every four to six hours. Ice can also be used to reduce swelling.

It’s important to remember to not use straws or smoke cigarettes within the first 72 hours after wisdom teeth removal. This can cause blood clots, bleeding, and dry sockets, as well as other complications. Expect at least one follow-up appointment with Dr. Koeppen to make sure that your gums are healing properly.

If you need your wisdom teeth removed, don’t wait. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Koeppen today, before your wisdom teeth do damage to your smile.