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Wisdom Tooth Extractions – Tucson, AZ

Safely Removing the Teeth You Don’t Need

Wisdom teeth erupt around the late teens or early twenties – long after every other tooth has already appeared in your mouth. The lack of space can lead to impaction, overcrowding, infections, and severe discomfort. Dr. Lopez can monitor your wisdom teeth to determine whether or not they need to be removed so that they can be extracted before they begin causing serious complications. Call us today to set up a consultation to discuss wisdom tooth extractions in Tucson, AZ for any member of your family that expects their wisdom teeth to erupt in the near future.

Why Choose Dr. Jay Lopez for Wisdom Tooth Extractions?

  • Multiple Forms of Sedation Available
  • Dentist with Extensive Education & Training
  • State-of-the-Art Dental Technology

What are Wisdom Teeth?

two fake wisdom teeth sitting next to dental instruments

Wisdom teeth, sometimes referred to as third molars, are the last teeth to erupt in your mouth, typically between the ages of 16 and 21 years old. While our Paleolithic ancestors 40,000 years ago used these molars to eat tough, raw meats and chew on hard nuts, making them essential to their livelihood; today, wisdom teeth can pose more of a threat than an advantage for some people. That’s why, for preventive measures, many people have their wisdom teeth extracted.

Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed?

a smiling teenager walking in the park

Some people might be able to keep their wisdom teeth as long as they don’t cause any problems. An extraction will be necessary if any of the following happens:

  • The wisdom teeth remain completely hidden underneath the gums and can’t erupt at all, leading to severe pain.
  • The wisdom teeth only partially emerge, making them difficult to clean, which increases the risk of oral infection.
  • The wisdom teeth start to crowd and/or damage the rest of your teeth.

The Extraction Process

a young adult experiencing wisdom tooth pain while they’re sitting on a couch

Your wisdom tooth extraction process will depend on whether you have a simple or surgical procedure. If your teeth have erupted through the gumline, you may only need a simple extraction, which is when your dentist will gently grab and wiggle the tooth free of connective tissue, allowing them to remove it. However, if your third molars are still impacted below the gumline, they may need to make a small incision in order to remove it. In any case, our team will ensure that you’re comfortable throughout the entire process.

Recovering from Wisdom Tooth Removal

smiling teens taking a selfie together

Do not rinse vigorously, touch the extraction area, or participate in any strenuous exercise after your treatment. Plan on keeping activity to a minimum for the rest of the day. Call us immediately if bleeding persists after 48 hours. Discomfort should fade after a few days; until then, take pain medication if you need to. Maintain a diet of soft foods for a few days before working your way back to heartier meals at a pace you’re comfortable with.

Wisdom Tooth Extractions FAQs

a patient pondering wisdom tooth extractions in Tucson, AZ

Our team understands that you might have a few questions about wisdom tooth extractions—and we’re here to help! We’ve gathered some of the most commonly asked questions that we receive about wisdom tooth extractions and their respective answers so that you can feel comfortable and confident about committing to the procedure. If you have any other questions about tooth extractions in Tucson, feel free to give us a call for additional information.

Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?

Even though it’s usually best to have your wisdom teeth removed these days, they actually served an important purpose for our ancestors. Early humans ate a very coarse diet that consisted of several raw foods like meats, berries, roots, nuts, and other earthy items. They also didn’t cook, prepare, or cut up foods the same way we do today, meaning they needed an extra set of molars to help out their jaws. But since food today is softer and easier to eat, wisdom teeth aren’t really necessary anymore and our jawbones have evolved to not have enough room for them once they erupt.

What Is the Best Age to Get Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Simply put, there’s no specific age that’s best for wisdom tooth extractions; it’s going to depend entirely on your individual circumstances. That said, young adulthood often ends up being the ideal time for many patients. This is because the procedure is usually less complex at this age; if teeth are impacted below the gumline, they can become embedded in the jaw as time passes, risking possible nerve damage if they’re removed when you’re older. It’s also often easier to schedule the procedure and recovery period during the teenage years.

Does Wisdom Tooth Removal Hurt?

The very first thing we’ll do during your wisdom tooth extractions is numb your mouth with a local anesthetic, so pain isn’t something you need to worry about at all! You may feel some slight pressure during the procedure, but it shouldn’t be outright painful. Some patients experience minor soreness or discomfort following the procedure, but as long as you follow the aftercare guidelines you’re sent home with, you’ll feel back to normal within about a week.

What Can I Do to Prepare for Wisdom Tooth Extractions?

Wisdom tooth extractions aren’t something you should take lightly; it’s still an oral surgical procedure that’s meant to set your mouth up for a healthy future. That said, there are many things you can do to prepare yourself, such as:

  • Arrange to have someone drive you to and from the appointment, since you won’t be fit to drive after receiving anesthesia. You should also have them keep an eye on you for a few hours following the procedure to ensure that you’re all set.
  • Be prepared to let us know what prescribed and over-the-counter medications you take, if any, to avoid unwanted interactions.
  • If you’re receiving general anesthesia, avoid eating or drinking after midnight the night before your procedure. Also refrain from smoking for at least 12 hours before the procedure.
  • Consider wearing comfortable clothing to your appointment. If you’re receiving IV sedation, wear a shirt with sleeves that are easy to roll up.
  • Stock up on plenty of soft foods and liquids; you’re going to need them while your mouth heals up!