Wisdom Teeth Removal & Tooth Extractions
Tooth Extractions: Emergency & Other Services
In most cases, we strive to help our New Jersey patients preserve their natural teeth for as long as possible. But sometimes, teeth are non-restorable or so badly infected that it’s best to have them removed.
Our Princeton, NJ, dentist may suggest a dental extraction due to circumstances related to:
- Advanced periodontal (gum) disease
- Upcoming dental implant therapy
- Impacted wisdom teeth
- Full dentures for bite rehabilitation
- Aggressive tooth decay
- Orthodontic therapy
- Painful dental abscesses
- Severely cracked teeth
After examining your teeth and taking an X-ray to evaluate the integrity of the roots, our dentist will determine if an extraction is the best option (or if a better alternative is available.)
Wisdom Teeth Removal: How it Works
Wisdom teeth are some of the most common ones that need to be extracted, due to their location. Because they are the furthest back in the mouth, third molars tend to be more prone to infection and decay. In some cases, wisdom teeth become impacted against the tooth next to them, causing additional damage.
Upon examining your mouth and taking an X-ray of your wisdom teeth, Dr. Bestandji can recommend whether it’s best to have them removed. In some cases, we’re able to provide wisdom teeth extraction here in our Princeton practice. We also have access to SOL soft tissue laser technology to remove extra gum tissue around wisdom teeth (operculectomy) to help make them easier to clean, potentially avoiding the need for a tooth extraction at all.
The Recovery Process
The timeline for wisdom tooth removal recovery is a big concern for parents and teens. This is especially true if wisdom tooth extraction is being planned around a school (or college) calendar. If you’re having wisdom teeth extracted as an adult, you’ll also need to know what to expect after oral surgery, particularly when it comes to days taken off work.
Knowing how to plan for your surgery and steps to take afterward can minimize potential discomfort.
At Canal Vista Family Dental, we’re committed to helping you keep your smile healthy for a lifetime. Since wisdom teeth tend to start forming in the mid to late teen years and through early adulthood, Dr. Bestandji will use intermittent full-mouth panoramic X-rays to assess their development. Once we have an image of the teeth’s position and size, we can let you know whether or not a wisdom tooth removal is necessary.
We suggest getting a wisdom tooth extraction consultation before your teen graduates high school. Dr. Bestandji will monitor the tooth development at each six-month checkup to determine if any intervention is necessary. If it is, we can coordinate a referral to a local oral surgeon to have the third molars taken out.
In most scenarios, your wisdom teeth will be fully developed by sometime in your late 20s or close to 30 years of age. Of course, there are always exceptions. Ultimately if you’re able to be pain and infection-free until your wisdom teeth are completely developed, there’s a chance that you might not ever need to have them removed. The key is to make sure they’re not pressing into adjacent teeth (damaging them) or partially erupted (where they’re prone to infection.)
First things first, your comfort during wisdom tooth extraction recovery is a top priority. Since swelling is typically the leading cause of pain and discomfort, you’ll want to take steps to keep inflammation down. With the right planning and close communication with your oral surgeon, you can significantly lessen the opportunity for swelling on the days following your wisdom tooth removal.
Today, most dentists and oral surgeons are getting away from using opioids/narcotics following a wisdom tooth removal procedure. Although that may sound a bit concerning at first, this change is actually a good thing. Thanks to advancements in medication, there are safer, non-addictive pain relievers that can be used to ease patient comfort and reduce post-surgery swelling. One example is Exparel; this numbing medication is applied at the surgical site and lasts up to a few days after the wisdom tooth is removed. By that time, the majority of any inflammation or tenderness around your extraction site will subside. The end result is a more comfortable wisdom tooth recovery experience.
If you do need any type of pain relief, an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen (Motrin) is preferred, as long as you’re cleared by your doctor. Take the medication as prescribed to keep swelling down. Your surgeon might suggest taking it proactively before discomfort even develops.
Depending on how complex your wisdom tooth removal was, your surgeon might also suggest a prescription medication to take during your recovery. To prevent unnecessary stomach irritation or nausea, it’s best to take all medication (prescription or over the counter) with at least a little food in your stomach. If you’re still on a soft diet — which most people are after oral surgery — eating a little yogurt, applesauce, or something similar before taking your medication can prevent an upset stomach.
Cold compresses are extremely helpful. For the first several hours after wisdom tooth surgery, plan to apply a cold compress on that side of your face for 20 minutes, then off for 20 minutes, repeating the cycle to keep swelling at bay. The cooler temperature will reduce the extent of inflammation after surgery, naturally easing any discomfort.
Anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. Typically, wisdom tooth swelling after surgery is short-lived. In an ideal situation, swelling should improve after a few days. As long as you carefully follow your home-care instructions, you can prevent complications and additional swelling. However, some people do see signs of swelling that take several days to subside. With the right medication and self-care, you can actively reduce swelling and ease your way to recover.
Along with swelling, you may experience some bruising or tenderness. It’s best to take at least a few days off work or school. Scheduling your wisdom tooth removal for a Wednesday or Thursday and then taking off the rest of the week is usually more than adequate to “get back to normal” by the next Monday morning. Although irritation or swelling may not be 100% resolved, it should have significantly improved enough for you to go about your day-to-day routine. In the meantime, stick to a soft diet until the surgical sites have completely healed (which is usually 10-14 days at the most.)
For any oral surgery (such as a wisdom tooth extraction or bone graft), you may be advised to take off about a week to fully recover.
What to expect after a molar tooth extraction will depend on if the tooth was already diseased, broken, or embedded down in the bone. Dr. Bestandji can give you a good idea as to recovery time during your tooth removal consultation.
We encourage you to schedule an exam and wisdom tooth consultation with us if you’re experiencing any facial swelling or pain. Dr. Bestandji is happy to see new patients of all ages!
Emergency Dental Extractions
A horrible toothache can hit you at the worst of times. Maybe it’s at your son’s Friday night hockey game, or during your daughter’s Saturday morning dance recital. The pain can be unbearable.
Anyone that has ever experienced the shocking jolt of tooth pain knows how awful it can be. You wake up constantly at night and there’s no possible medication or antibiotics available over the counter that would even take the edge off of your discomfort. So, what are you to do? Many people will end up in the Emergency Room, desperate to get some relief. We all know how exhausting hospital visits are, especially when you’re in pain.
It’s no wonder there aren’t more dental practices in Princeton with an emergency dentist available. Dr. Bestandji is here to assist you and provide a dental extraction to relieve your pain, if it’s necessary.
Keeping You Comfortable
Having a tooth pulled is usually a straightforward procedure. With a little local anesthetic to numb the area around your tooth, Dr. Bestandji can remove it with practically no discomfort. All you’ll feel is a small amount of pressure.
When possible, we want to do everything we can to help you preserve your healthy teeth. We will only recommend having a tooth extracted if it’s in the best interest of your overall smile and individual needs. If you need a second opinion or are thinking about having a problematic tooth pulled, we encourage you to visit Canal Vista Family Dental for an exam!
Other Emergency Services
Because most common dental problems are preventable, Dr. Bestandji opts to incorporate strategies that help our patients reduce the risk of tooth decay from a very early age. This may be through protective dental sealants, fluoride, or even ClearCorrect orthodontic trays to make it easier for you to keep your smile clean.
Has it been more than six months since your last exam and cleaning? Are you looking for a family dentist in Princeton? Canal Vista Family Dental accepts patients of all ages. Contact us today to request your first appointment.