Wisdom Teeth

Universal Dental Care

Dentists located in Tacoma, WA

Almost everyone develops wisdom teeth in their late teens or twenties, but very few have room in their mouth for the third row of molars. If your wisdom teeth have come in misaligned or become impacted, University Dental Care in Tacoma, Washington offers wisdom teeth removal as a treatment option. Call the office today to make an appointment, or use the online scheduling tool.

Wisdom Teeth Q & A

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the last row of molars in your mouth that often appear in your late teens or early twenties. While some people develop wisdom teeth without any complications, it’s very common for wisdom teeth to have limited space in the mouth in which to grow, leading them to grow at odd angles to the rest of your teeth, or become impacted, trapped behind your other teeth as they develop.

In fact, misalignment and impaction happen so often that many dentists recommend removal as soon as they appear as a precaution.

How can I tell if my wisdom teeth are misaligned?

Your dentist at University Dental Care will be able to tell if your wisdom teeth are misaligned before they even erupt from dental X-rays, but once your wisdom teeth are visible, you can look for the following signs to tell if wisdom teeth removal may be necessary:

  • Food or other particles are stuck behind the wisdom tooth
  • Your wisdom teeth are facing at a different angle than your other teeth
  • Your wisdom teeth are erupting out of line with your other teeth
  • Your wisdom teeth are crowding a nearby tooth
  • A wisdom tooth can only partially erupt

Over time, it’s possible for your wisdom teeth to shift your other teeth out of alignment if your mouth does not have space for your wisdom teeth.

How can I tell if I have an impacted wisdom tooth?

Signs of an impacted wisdom tooth include:

  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Pain in your jawbone or gums
  • Bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • Difficulty opening your mouth

If left untreated, impacted wisdom teeth can lead to a number of long-term complications beyond these unpleasant symptoms.

What should I expect when I have my wisdom teeth removed?

Wisdom teeth removal is a safe, common, outpatient procedure that usually only requires one visit. Sedation, local and general anesthesia are all available for wisdom teeth removal, and you can discuss which one’s right for you with your dentist.

Once you’re anesthetized, your dentist makes an incision in the gums and remove the teeth at the root. Once the removal of the teeth is complete, she’ll suture the wounds closed, and pack the empty sockets with gauze.

You will need to arrange a ride home from your procedure due to the lingering effects of anesthesia. You may have some swelling and tenderness in the first few days after your procedure as your gums heal.

If you need wisdom teeth removal, or if you have any questions, call University Dental Care or make an appointment online.