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Wisdom Teeth Removal in San Diego

Wisdom teeth are typically removed during one's teenage years. However, this is not always the case. In some cases, wisdom teeth may be left completely alone if they grow in properly and can be accessed well enough to be fully cleaned and taken care of.

How do you know when it’s time to get wisdom teeth removed, if ever? And if your dentist advises you to get them removed, how important is it to follow that advice?

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars in the back of your mouth that, for most people, come in between ages 17 and 25. If they grow in correctly without crowding the rest of your teeth, then you probably won’t need them removed. But if your dentist says you need your wisdom teeth removed, there’s probably a reason. It may be that your dentist can foresee issues based on x-rays that show your wisdom teeth coming in, even if they haven’t caused you any pain yet.

If your dentist determines that your wisdom teeth are impacted, you may require surgical wisdom tooth removal. When wisdom teeth are impacted, the teeth themselves are enclosed within the soft tissue, or are what is known as full bony impacted wisdom teeth. This is when the wisdom teeth are enclosed within the jawbone. Some common symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Swelling
  • Bleeding gums
  • Difficulty opening your mouth

Why get wisdom teeth removed?

The top reason why most people require wisdom teeth removal in San Deigo is that there’s simply not enough room in the mouth for these new teeth. Your dental x-rays will show your dentist whether or not there will be enough space for your wisdom teeth, at what angle they are growing, and whether there are other problems that would mean they need to be removed.

If your mouth doesn’t have adequate room, the pressure of wisdom teeth coming in causes overcrowding, crooked teeth, infection, oral hygiene issues, cavities and more unwanted troubles.

Wisdom teeth can be very painful and tend to work themselves sideways, growing horizontally into your other teeth instead up upward through the top of your gums. When this happens, nearby healthy teeth can be seriously damaged and crowded, your bite can be affected, your teeth can shift and become crooked, and painful cysts can form, and your gums can become infected.

What happens if wisdom teeth aren’t removed?

There are a number of concerns that can arise if a wisdom tooth (or teeth) that needs to be removed is left in the mouth. A partially erupted wisdom tooth often has a loose flap of gum tissue that collects food particles and other germs, generating a breeding ground for bacteria. This can develop into pericoronitis, a painful inflammation or swelling of your gum tissue that can be dangerous to more than just your oral health.

When a wisdom tooth doesn’t erupt at all, it can lead to the development of a painful cyst, which may bleed and can also cause infection.

What to expect on the day of the procedure

The first step is anesthesia to ensure you are comfortable. We offer three anesthesia options:

Once you are anesthetized, Dr. Fakhimi will make an incision in your gums to remove the tooth as well as any bone that blocks access to the tooth’s root. He will clean the site and stitch up the wound, then place some gauze over the extraction site to control the bleeding.

Recovery

Day One

You will go home after the procedure with a friend or family member. Don’t brush your teeth for 24 hours, and get plenty of rest. Be prepared for there to be some bleeding and swelling. The swelling will usually get worse the next day, as the second day after surgery is usually the worst for swelling.

Week One

The pain and swelling should subside more and more each day. By the end of the first week, you should be recovered. During the first week or so, follow these guidelines to help with recovery and comfort:

  • Eat soft foods, avoiding anything crunchy or sharp.
  • Drink plenty of liquids (though not with a straw, as this can disrupt the clotting process).
  • Instead of spitting, use the gauze to address bleeding (excessive spitting can also disrupt the clotting process).
  • After the first 24 hours, brush gently, and take particular care near the area of the extraction.
  • Rinse your mouth gently with warm salt water every two hours and after meals.
  • Avoid smoking (which will slow your healing).
  • Take any prescribed medications (usually to reduce pain and swelling) according to the exact instructions.
  • Call Dr. Fakhimi if you have a fever or if your pain and swelling do not decrease.

Month One

After the first two weeks, you may begin introducing more solid or chewy foods back into your diet. Base this on your personal comfort level and take it slowly. You should be back to your normal eating habits by about 3-4 weeks after surgery.

By the end of the month, your tooth hole will be almost fully closed. The indentation in your gum will usually fill in and heal completely after several more months. Within the next couple months, the hole in your jawbone (your tooth’s socket) should also be completely filled in with new bone.

Wisdom teeth removal cost

If it is considered medically necessary, which is often the case if wisdom teeth are impacted or could cause health problems, your health insurance plan may cover the cost of surgery. Dental insurance plans also usually cover some or all the cost of the procedure.

Depending on the complexity of the procedure, an impacted tooth removal can cost about $300-$600 per tooth. All four wisdom teeth being extracted together costs between $900-$2,000.

Why choose Dr. Fakhimi?

Dr. Ali Fakhimi founded Soft Touch Dental with the aim of providing the highest standard of dentistry solutions to patients in San Diego. He has more than 20 years of experience as an authority in dentistry, dedicating his extensive expertise to helping his patients achieve the smiles they always wanted. His friendly, professional manner and outstanding results make him one of the most trusted and sought after dentists in San Diego.

Dr. Fakhimi is a graduate of the University of Nevada and Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, ranked one of the best dental schools in the country. He earned his Doctorate degree in 1997. He also attended the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced and Cosmetic Dentistry (LVI), considered one of the most prestigious dental institutes in the world. There, he specialized in the latest techniques in cosmetic dentistry and full-mouth reconstruction.

Patients in San Diego trust Dr. Fakhimi to provide them with the best dental care available, providing a warm, caring manner and experienced expertise when it comes to any procedure.

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