Wisdom Teeth (cont.)
Steven B. Horne, DDS
Dr. Steve Horne began his career at Brigham Young University obtaining his BA in English. He earned his Doctorate of Dental Surgery in 2007 from the University of Southern California where his pursuit for academic excellence landed him on the Dean's List. He was recognized for his superior clinical skills and invited to help teach other dental students in courses on restorative dentistry, prosthodontics, and tooth anatomy. During dental school, he provided dental care for underserved populations of Los Angeles and Orange County, Mexico, and Costa Rica with AYUDA. Following dental school, Dr. Horne entered active duty with the U.S. Army and practiced dentistry at Fort Knox, Kentucky, for four years. During this time, he was deployed to Baghdad, Iraq, and received multiple Army Achievement Medals, the Army Commendation Medal, and served as Company Commander. Dr. Horne currently practices full time at Torrey Pines Dental Arts in La Jolla, California, as a general dentist. Dr. Horne is a member of the American Dental Association, the California Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry. Dr. Horne is married to his wife, Christy, and they have a chocolate Labrador named Roscoe.
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
In this Article
- What are wisdom teeth?
- How do I know if I have wisdom teeth?
- Do all wisdom teeth need to be extracted?
- What if the wisdom teeth hurt and they cannot be extracted right away?
- How is wisdom tooth extraction performed?
- What is the recovery like after wisdom teeth extraction?
- What are the potential risks and complications of wisdom teeth extraction?
- How much does wisdom teeth extraction cost?
- Find a local Doctor in your town
What are the potential risks and complications of wisdom teeth extraction?
Although the postoperative recovery is usually uneventful, problems can occur. The most common adverse occurrence of a wisdom tooth extraction is a dry socket or alveolar osteitis. This condition is created when the blood clot in the surgical site accidentally dislodges, leaving exposed bone Once this occurs, the bone along the extraction socket can become inflamed and painful. If a dry socket occurs, the surgeon should be contacted. If it happens, a dry socket will typically develop between two and five days after the extraction and will produce a bad smell/taste in the mouth along with constant throbbing pain. This complication is easily treated and often resolves quickly with a packing medication or stimulation of a new blood clot. More serious complications are rare but can include injury to the adjacent inferior alveolar nerve for wisdom teeth on the bottom (mandible), sinus perforation for wisdom teeth on the top (maxilla), damage to adjacent teeth, prolonged numbness or altered sensation of the tongue, lip, or gum tissue (paresthesia), or problems with the temporomandibular joint as a result of trauma to the area. The potential risks of wisdom tooth extraction should be reviewed with a dentist. If a wisdom tooth is deemed compromised, removal of the tooth in adolescence is advantageous to extracting the tooth in late adulthood. The extraction procedure and healing both become more difficult as the person gets older. Discussion with a dentist about the condition of the wisdom teeth and timeline for the extractions is important and will help minimize complications.
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