My Blog

Posts for tag: wisdom teeth

By Inland Oral Surgery
July 04, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: wisdom teeth  

The reason for extracting a tooth may be all too obvious — the tooth is too decayed or damaged to attempt saving. The reason for extracting a wisdom tooth, on the other hand, may not be so apparent: from the perspective of pain or reduced function, you may not notice a thing. Our recommendation to remove a wisdom tooth is based primarily on what may be occurring out of view below the gum line and its potential threat to adjacent teeth.

Teeth grow and develop below the gum line in the jaw, and then push their way through the gums as they appear in the mouth (eruption). After a normal eruption, the enamel-covered crown is visible above the gum line; the remaining tooth root (about two-thirds of the tooth’s length) resides below the gum line. Because wisdom teeth, or third molars, erupt rather late between ages 17 and 25, they may lack the room to erupt properly due to crowding from other teeth that have already erupted. This can cause the wisdom tooth not to erupt fully through the gums, leaving the crown trapped below the gum line, a condition known as impaction. For the tooth, impaction increases the chances of infection, cyst formation and gum disease around it.

An impacted wisdom tooth can also cause problems for the adjacent teeth as well. The impacted tooth may begin to press against the roots of other teeth; the resulting pressure can damage the other roots, increasing the risk for disease or future tooth loss. A person may not even know they have this problem since there’s often little to no noticeable pain or symptoms.

It may seem counterintuitive, but the best time to remove a wisdom tooth is when it’s not causing immediate problems. There will be, however, signs found during examination (particularly x-rays or CT scan) that future problems are in the making. By extracting an impacted wisdom tooth at the appropriate time, we can avoid more serious problems in the future and improve oral health.

If you would like more information on wisdom teeth and your oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”

By Inland Oral Surgery
December 06, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

There are several indications you may need your wisdom teeth removed. Crowding, pain, infection, tooth decay, and gum disease are all wisdom teethsigns your wisdom teeth may need to be removed. If you notice any of these signs, see an oral surgeon for evaluation. They can determine if extraction is necessary. At Inland Oral Surgery, Dr. David Gailey is your oral and maxillofacial surgeons in Spokane, WA for wisdom teeth removal.

Reasons for Removing Wisdom Teeth

There are many reasons why you may need your wisdom teeth removed. A major reason to extract wisdom teeth is pain. The pain associated with impacted, infected, or crowded wisdom teeth can be alleviated with extraction. Newly erupted wisdom teeth can also be a source of pain and discomfort. Removing them provides relief from the discomfort. In Spokane, wisdom teeth can be removed by the oral surgeons at Inland Oral Surgery. Signs your wisdom teeth need to be removed include:

  • Crowding of the teeth occurs after eruption
  • The wisdom teeth only partially erupt
  • Infection develops in the wisdom teeth
  • Pain and discomfort occurs after full or partial eruption

Removal of Wisdom Teeth

Removal of wisdom teeth is an in-office procedure requiring a few days recovery before returning to normal activities. Prior to the procedure, a sedative or local anesthetic will be administered to prevent you from feeling any pain or discomfort during the procedure. To remove the wisdom teeth, a small incision is made in the gums and the teeth are gently removed. The gums are then stitched closed. For stitches that do not dissolve, a second visit will be needed at a later date to remove them.

Some bleeding from the extraction site can occur in the days following removal of the wisdom tooth. Some bleeding, bruising, or swelling is normal and is not cause for concern. Prescription or over-the counter pain medication can be taken for discomfort, while gauze pads can be used to control any bleeding that occurs. Additionally, an ice pack applied to the cheek periodically during the first day following extraction can minimize bruising and discomfort. Rinsing with warm salt water several times a day during recovery is also beneficial.

If you are experiencing pain, discomfort, crowding, or an infection following eruption of your wisdom teeth, these are signs they might need to be removed. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Gailey, your oral and maxillofacial surgeons for wisdom teeth removal in Spokane, WA, call Inland Oral Surgery at (509) 321-1404.

By Inland Oral Surgery
October 06, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Discover the telltale signs that may be warning you to get a wisdom tooth extraction.

About the time that your wisdom teeth start to erupt it’s a good time to setup an appointment with our Spokane, WA oral surgeons,wisdom teeth Dr. Gailey. For the majority of people, wisdom teeth will need to be removed at some point, since these teeth can often cause more problems if they stay. Find out if it’s time to get your wisdom teeth removed.

Many patients won’t experience symptoms when their wisdom teeth first start coming in, but this isn’t exactly an indicator that your teeth don’t have to be removed. One of the first things our oral surgeons in Spokane will do is take an X-ray of your mouth. Since not all dental issues can be see with the naked eye, we sometimes need imaging tests to help us detect signs of decay and to actually see how wisdom teeth are developing (particularly if they haven’t erupted or aren’t fully erupted).

Why Wisdom Teeth Need to be Removed

If wisdom teeth are coming in crooked or partially erupted, they can cause crowding in the rest of your smile. And if you have already had braces to correct your alignment, the last thing you want is for your wisdom teeth to affect your smile. Misaligned wisdom teeth can also damage nearby teeth.

And if your wisdom teeth have only partially erupted, this opening in the gums leaves your mouth susceptible to decay and infection. So it’s always best to play it safe and have your wisdom teeth extracted before they cause serious issues for your smile.

Warning Signs

Here are some of the common issues to look for that could be telling you that your wisdom teeth are causing problems and need to be removed:

  • A stiff or painful jaw
  • Swelling and/or pain near the wisdom teeth
  • Dental pain caused by a crooked or misaligned wisdom tooth
  • Gum or soft tissue irritation from the partially erupted tooth rubbing against it
  • A cyst that forms on the gums (this is a sign of infection)

If you’re noticing any of these symptoms above then it’s high time you called the dental surgeons at Inland Oral Surgery in Spokane, WA for a consultation. There is wisdom in knowing when to have your wisdom teeth removed.

By Inland Oral Surgery
June 21, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Via a recent Instagram post, pop diva Ariana Grande became the latest young celebrity to publicly acknowledge a dental milestone: having her wisdom teeth removed. The singer of hits such as “Break Free” and “Problem” posted an after-surgery picture of herself (wearing her signature cat-eye eyeliner), with a caption addressed to her teeth: “Peace out, final three wisdom teeth. It’s been real.”

With the post, Grande joined several other celebs (including Lily Allen, Paris Hilton and Emile Hirsch) who have shared their dental surgery experience with fans. Will "wisdom teeth removal" become a new trending topic on social media? We aren’t sure — but we can explain a bit about the procedure, and why many younger adults may need it.

Technically called the “third molars,” wisdom teeth usually begin to emerge from the gums between the ages of 17 and 25 — presumably, around the same time that a certain amount of wisdom emerges. Most people have four of these big molars, which are located all the way in the back of the mouth, on the left and right sides of the upper and lower jaws.

But when wisdom teeth begin to appear, there’s often a problem: Many people don’t have enough space in their jaws to accommodate them. When these molars lack sufficient space to fully erupt (emerge), they are said to be “impacted.” Impacted teeth can cause a number of serious problems: These may include pain, an increased potential for bacterial infections, periodontal disease, and even the formation of cysts (pockets of infection below the gum line), which can eventually lead to tooth and bone loss.

In most cases, the best treatment for impacted wisdom teeth is extraction (removal) of the problem teeth. Wisdom tooth extraction is a routine, in-office procedure that is usually performed under local anesthesia or “conscious sedation,” a type of anesthesia where the patient remains conscious (able to breathe normally and respond to stimuli), but is free from any pain or distress. Anti-anxiety medications may also be given, especially for those who are apprehensive about dental procedures.

So if you find you need your wisdom teeth extracted, don’t be afraid to “Break Free” like Ariana Grande did; whether you post the results on social media is entirely up to you. If you would like more information about wisdom tooth extraction, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”

By Inland Oral Surgery
February 08, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Before you have your teeth extracted learn more about what the procedure entails.

Any dental procedure can feel scary and confusing, but the goal of Spokane oral surgeons Dr. David Gailey is to teeth extractionsmake sure that you understand everything about your upcoming wisdom tooth extraction so you aren’t left in the dark. Find out more about the surgery and what you can expect.

Q. Why do my wisdom teeth need to come out?

A. These third and final set of molars usually come in around your late teens or early twenties. They are recommended to be removed around this time. While these teeth don’t always have to cause issues, they often do. They can come in crooked, they may become stuck (impacted) in the jaw, they can erupt through the gums only partially (which can leave gums prone to an infection) or they can cause overcrowding for your smile. If this is the case your dentist will refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. 

Q. Will I be asleep during the procedure?

A. There are different forms of anesthesia that your oral surgeon will choose from depending on the complexity of your extraction and how anxious you may be about your upcoming procedure. The most common types of anesthesia include:

  • Local anesthesia: administering a local injection to numb the area prior to treatment. The patient is completely conscious but won’t feel pain.
  • Light sedation: Sometimes referred to as conscious sedation, this IV anesthesia will go into your arm and reduce consciousness during your treatment so you won’t experience pain or discomfort. You will also receive a local anesthesia before your procedure.
  • General anesthesia: This is usually only recommended for those with special or serious cases. You will be completely asleep and unaware of what is going on around you. Your breathing and heart rate will be continuously monitored while under general anesthesia.

Q. What is the procedure like?

A. Once you are under sedation we will open up the gums to expose the wisdom teeth. We may need to cut each tooth into several pieces to make removing it easier. Once all of your wisdom teeth are removed we will stitch the gums back up. Some procedures only take a few minutes while others can take up to an hour. This will depend on whether your wisdom teeth have fully erupted or are impacted.

Q. What will the recovery process be like?

A. Everyone’s healing process is different. We will give you instructions on what you should and shouldn’t do after your surgery. We will also tell you whether you have dissolvable stitches or whether you will need to come back in to have them removed. You will also be given strict dietary restrictions for about the first week after your procedure.

Still have questions about your wisdom teeth? Need to schedule a consultation to see if you need your wisdom teeth out? Then call Inland Oral Surgery in Spokane, WA today and talk to one of our expert oral surgeons today.