Wisdom Tooth Extraction

The wisdom teeth are the last set of molars in the back of your mouth. They typically erupt during your late teens or early twenties. Sometimes, wisdom teeth can cause dental problems like overcrowding, impaction, damage to other teeth, gum disease (periodontitis), or infection. Those issues can lead to pain, difficulty chewing, bad breath, and more serious health concerns.

When wisdom teeth are causing problems – or likely to do so in the future – your dentist may recommend wisdom tooth extraction. At Pathway Dental Group, we’re here to help you resolve any wisdom teeth issues with our unique mix of clinical expertise and compassionate care.

Do you need wisdom teeth removed in Santa Barbara County? Pathway Dental Group offers wisdom teeth removal at our three locations in:

  • Lompoc
  • Santa Barbara
  • Santa Maria
Dental professional indicating wisdom teeth on a dental model

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Your wisdom teeth are the third set of molars in the very back of your mouth. Most people develop four wisdom teeth, one on each side of the top and bottom of the mouth. However, up to 35% of Americans have no wisdom teeth. Others may develop only one or two!

Scientists believe that wisdom teeth gave our ancestors the ability to chew a broader variety of raw foods, such as nuts, seeds, and crunchy leaves. Thanks to a softer diet and the ability to cut food into smaller pieces, modern humans no longer need wisdom teeth for their original purpose. However, they remain a part of our evolutionary heritage.

Is Wisdom Tooth Extraction Necessary?

Unlike other teeth, most people only develop one set of wisdom teeth in their lifetime. They typically don’t erupt until your late teens or early twenties. At that point, your other adult teeth have already settled into position.

Wisdom teeth may erupt crooked or sideways, causing overcrowding. Due to their proximity to nerves and sinus cavities, they can cause considerable pain, infection, headaches, and other problems. They may also be difficult to care for and impede brushing and flossing of adjacent teeth, leading to tooth decay and periodontitis.

If you are experiencing any of these issues, your dentist may recommend removal of the wisdom teeth. These concerns tend to get worse as time goes on, even to the point of causing medical emergencies. When it’s needed, scheduling wisdom teeth removal promptly can help you avoid those problems.

How Do Wisdom Tooth Extractions Work?

If you regularly visit your dentist, panoramic X-rays are regularly taken to track the position of your teeth. This helps your dentist identify many possible issues, including problematic wisdom teeth, before they become more serious.

If you haven’t seen a dentist in a while, that’s OK. X-rays are still an important early step in diagnosing a problem with wisdom teeth. They can be taken at the time of your initial consultation.

During this consultation, the dentist will determine whether your wisdom teeth have fully erupted and if any impaction has occurred. This process will help your dentist create an appropriate treatment plan, which is typically similar to the removal of any other tooth.

We’ll help you set your appointment for wisdom teeth removal in Santa Barbara County so it fits into your schedule. We make it easy to complete the necessary forms ahead of time, too. That means a smoother experience and less time spent waiting.

You will have several sedation options, including IV sedation, during the procedure itself. That way, you can take the approach that is most comfortable for you. Treatment generally takes about an hour.

Once the procedure is finished, you will rest comfortably under our supervision until you are ready to go home. Having someone available to pick you up will help you get home safely.

Most people are back to normal within three days following wisdom tooth extraction. While you need to avoid strenuous activity, straws, and hard or crunchy foods, recovery is usually a fast process. Our staff will provide detailed aftercare instructions to help you heal and stay comfortable after treatment.

Patient after wisdom teeth removal
Young woman presenting her smile to her dentist as he examines her teeth

Benefits of Wisdom Tooth Extractions

Wisdom teeth extraction significantly reduces the likelihood of future oral health problems. These include tooth decay, infection, bad breath, bone loss, and jaw damage.

If you are experiencing pain due to impacted wisdom teeth, removal will provide relief and greatly improve your overall quality of life. Pathway Dental Group offers professional and compassionate treatment at three convenient locations in Santa Barbara County, including:

  • Wisdom teeth removal in Lompoc, CA
  • Wisdom teeth removal in Santa Barbara, CA
  • Wisdom teeth extraction in Santa Maria, CA

Am I a Candidate for Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

Wisdom teeth can cause numerous problems if there is no space for them to erupt or they become impacted. Removal may be done preventatively or to address an acute problem, but your eligibility for the procedure will primarily depend on the specific circumstances of your situation.  

Your dentist may recommend extraction if your wisdom teeth:

  • Do not have sufficient room to erupt
  • Cause damage to adjacent teeth or the jaw
  • Develop a cyst around them
  • Trap food and/or have spaces where bacteria can cause tooth decay and infection
  • Have cavities or inflamed gums around them

Contact Pathway Dental to Learn More About Wisdom Tooth Extractions

At Pathway Dental Group, your health, safety, and comfort are our top priorities. Our experienced and compassionate team are proud to offer the very best in oral surgery care, including wisdom teeth extractions, to our patients and their families. We’re here to help with wisdom teeth removal in Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, and Lompoc.

If your wisdom teeth are causing pain or discomfort, contact us today to find out if extraction is right for you!

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