Whether you are a teenager or an adult with wisdom teeth, getting them evaluated is preventive care to reduce the risk of complications. Although you may not have any symptoms, impacted wisdom teeth can become infected, painful, or harmful to other teeth. If your third molars are causing complications, prompt wisdom teeth removal can prevent your symptoms from worsening. 

Wisdom teeth removal is a very common procedure, and board-certified oral surgeon Dr. Ryan Hambleton offers efficient, comfortable wisdom teeth to patients in Littleton, Colorado.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are third molars, the last permanent teeth to emerge, usually between ages 17 and 25. Most people have four wisdom teeth—one on each side of the upper and lower jaw. Third molars fully emerge without cavities, disease, or complications for some people.

Yet, wisdom tooth removal is a standard outpatient procedure because most people’s jaws do not have enough space for third molars to develop and erupt correctly. The teeth can get trapped in your gum tissue or jawbone. Statistics show that nine out of ten people have at least one impacted, or trapped, wisdom tooth.

Dr. Hambleton recommends prompt wisdom tooth removal for teenagers and young adults for these reasons:

  • Teenagers’ and young adults’ wisdom teeth have incomplete root systems. Fewer complications occur with oral surgery while tooth roots are shorter, and the jawbone is less dense than in later life.
  • As we age, tooth roots lengthen, embed in the jawbone, and may entangle in sensory nerves, increasing the risks of discomfort after surgery. 
  • The risks of wisdom teeth complications increase after age 30.

Why Get Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?

  • Discomfort and sensitivity around the impacted teeth
  • Infection in and around the gums 
  • Damage to adjacent teeth 
  • Cysts around the jawbone 

Dr. Hambleton may recommend getting your wisdom teeth removed to prevent or relieve the above concerns. Even if you do not have symptoms, removing partially or fully impacted teeth protects your gums, other teeth, jaw, and long-term oral health. We will ensure that your procedure is as comfortable as possible.

How Wisdom Teeth Removal Works

Before wisdom teeth removal, you will have a consultation with Dr. Hambleton. During your consultation and evaluation, Dr. Hamilton will do the following:

  • Examine your teeth and gums and take x-rays 
  • Explain whether you need your wisdom teeth removed
  • Review anesthesia options for a comfortable procedure, including local anesthesia, nitrous oxide (laughing gas), office-based general anesthesia
  • Explain what to expect before, during, and after your procedure
  • Listen to your concerns and answer your questions
  • Give you instructions to prepare for your surgery date

During wisdom tooth removal, your safety, comfort, and well-being are Dr. Hambleton’s priority. His years of experience and advanced surgical and anesthesia techniques will give you a smooth experience. Dr. Hambleton will tailor your treatment plan based on your needs, the position of your wisdom teeth and their roots, and whether they are impacted or erupted.

The Procedure

Dr. Hambleton will administer anesthesia and ensure you are comfortable before your procedure. He can remove a fully erupted tooth in one piece with tools that widen the socket and then remove the loosened tooth. After exposing an impacted tooth, Dr. Hambleton will remove any bone blocking the tooth and section it into smaller pieces for easier removal. 

Dr. Hambleton can remove four non-impacted wisdom teeth in about 45 minutes. The length of your surgery depends on these factors:

  • Wisdom tooth position
  • Length and curvature of tooth roots
  • Bone thickness around each tooth
  • Whether any teeth are entangled in sensory nerves

After tooth removal, Dr. Hambleton may use dissolvable stitches at the surgical sites. We will apply gauze over the areas and ask you to bite down for 30 minutes to minimize and stop any bleeding.

Post-Op and Recovery from Wisdom Teeth Removal

After your procedure, we will continue to monitor your breathing, consciousness, and comfort. We will give you post-operative instructions and discharge you when you are awake and alert. You can also get detailed post-surgical instructions on our website.

Although the anesthesia will keep you comfortable for a few hours after surgery, you may start taking over-the-counter or prescription medication as instructed by Dr. Hambleton. Rest and keep your head elevated to minimize discomfort, bleeding at the extraction sites, and swelling. If bleeding persists, bite down on gauze or a damp tea bag, which contains tannic acid and contracts blood vessels so that clots can form. You can reduce swelling by applying cold packs on the sides of your face at 20-minute intervals. Swelling should decrease within 48 hours. Discontinue cold packs after the third day and apply warm compresses if needed. 

Still, by the third day, your recovery should be progressive. Dr. Hambleton wants you to have a safe, smooth, comfortable recovery and will assist you throughout the process. We encourage you to contact us with questions or concerns regardless of the day or time. 

Experienced in Wisdom Teeth Removal Near Littleton, CO

Although wisdom teeth removal is a safe, common procedure, Dr. Hambleton will not minimize your concerns about the surgery. He is highly attentive to your comfort and safety and will answer your questions in detail. Highlands Ranch Oral & Facial Surgery welcomes you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hambleton to experience his patient-focused care. Contact us at (720) 996-0210.