Wisdom teeth, also referred to as third molars, occupy the rearmost position in the mouth. They typically emerge between ages 17 and 25. While they were once necessary for chewing coarse foods, the modern diet often leaves inadequate room for them.
Most adults have four wisdom teeth, one in each quadrant, but some can have fewer or extra (supernumerary) wisdom teeth, and some can have none at all. Wisdom teeth extraction is a common procedure especially among adolescents, and often, this brings stress to both parents and children.
We will examine valuable insights and tips that enhance the process, ensuring your child’s comfort and well-being as they begin their journey toward improved oral hygiene. We will also cover the complete procedure, including consultation, extraction, after-care, potential complications, and selecting the appropriate dental clinic.
Read on to learn more about the ins and outs of wisdom teeth extraction treatment for kids in Maple Ridge.
Dental Extraction Consultation in Maple Ridge
Initial Consultation and Pre-extraction Assessment Process
Your dentist will carefully examine your child’s oral health and specific needs during the initial consultation and pre-extraction assessment for wisdom teeth removal. This is what typically happens:
- Review Medical and Dental History
- Comprehensive Oral Examination
- X-rays and Imaging
- Discuss Symptoms and Concerns
- Treatment Options
- Anesthesia and Sedation
- Post-Extraction Care
Before wisdom teeth extraction, several necessary preparations are essential to ensure a smooth and successful procedure. The following are the steps typically involved:
- Consultation: Schedule a meeting with your dentist to assess your child’s wisdom teeth and discuss medical conditions or medications that can affect the procedure.
- Fasting: Fasting could be required before the extraction for safe anesthesia. Refrain your child from eating, drinking, including water, as instructed.
- Medication Review: Share all your child’s medications with the dentist. They’ll tell you which ones to continue or pause before the extraction.
- Pre-Operative Care: Follow pre-operative instructions for a mouthwash or antibiotics to minimize infection risk before the extraction.
Tips to Support Your Child in Managing Dental Anxiety
- Talk about their feelings and fears.
- Choose a child-friendly dentist.
- Visit the dental office in advance.
- Offer praise and encouragement for your child’s bravery.
- Reward them with a small treat or a fun activity.
- Teach your child relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or visualizations.
Wisdom Teeth Extraction Procedure
Based on a published article by Cleveland Clinic, these are the things you can expect during the wisdom teeth extraction procedure:
Your dentist will give your child anesthesia or sedation to ensure comfort and minimize pain during the procedure. Dr. Christine Frank, a general dentist, explains the types of dental anesthesia in an article. These common options include:
- Local Anesthesia: An injection numbs the area around the wisdom teeth, keeping you awake during the procedure with minimal pain.
- Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas): A mild sedative inhaled through a nose mask that relaxes you, reduces anxiety and keeps you conscious during the procedure.
- IV Sedation: It’s given through a vein in your arm, causing deep relaxation and drowsiness, often leading to little memory of the procedure.
- General Anesthesia: It makes you completely unconscious during the extraction, commonly used for complex cases or severe dental anxiety.
2. Tooth Exposure
If the wisdom teeth are impacted, the dentist will need to create an incision to expose the tooth properly.
3. Tooth Removal
The dentist will gently and carefully remove the wisdom tooth from its socket in the jawbone using specialized dental instruments.
4. Stitching (If Required)
Sometimes, stitches can be needed to close the incision after the tooth extraction.
5. Gauze Placement
After the extraction, the dentist will place a piece of gauze over the extraction site to control bleeding and promote clot formation.
The dentist will provide post-operative care instructions, including how to manage swelling and discomfort, what to eat, and how to keep the extraction site clean. Orthodontic Dental Assistant Shawn Watson explains some important steps to follow:
- Gently bite on the gauze.
- Avoid disturbing the area.
- Take prescribed medications.
- Apply ice packs.
- Eat soft foods.
- Stay hydrated.
- Maintain oral hygiene.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol.
- Rest and avoid harsh activities.
During the initial recovery phase, which typically spans a few days to a week, your child may encounter discomfort, swelling, and slight bleeding at the extraction site. Blood clots form as the body initiates the healing process in the areas from which the teeth were extracted.
During the follow-up appointment, your child’s dentist will examine the extraction site for complications like infection or dry socket. They’ll also remove any stitches used during the extraction and ask about your child’s recovery experience while addressing any concerns or questions.
Common Concerns and Complications
An article published in NHS shares the common concerns and complications of wisdom teeth extraction. Listed below are the ways on how to handle them:
- Pain and Swelling: Use prescribed pain medications and apply ice packs to reduce swelling.
- Bleeding: Bite down on gauze pads and avoid vigorous rinsing. Contact your dentist if the bleeding persists.
- Infection: Follow post-op care instructions, take prescribed antibiotics, and maintain oral hygiene.
- Dry Socket: Avoid smoking, using straws, or spitting forcefully to minimize the risk. If it happens, visit your dentist immediately.
- Numbness or Tingling: Usually temporary, but inform your dentist if it persists.
How to Choose the Right Dentist For Wisdom Teeth Extraction
To find the right dentist for maintaining great oral health, follow these five steps:
Step 1: Seek Recommendations
Ask your regular dentist, family, and friends for recommendations. Their experiences can help you find skilled practitioners.
Step 2: Check Credentials and Experience
Research the recommended dentist’s credentials and experience. Check their education, training, and specialized certifications in oral surgery or teeth extraction.
Step 3: Read Reviews and Testimonials
Read reviews and testimonials from previous patients to assess your dentist’s care quality. Positive feedback and satisfied patients indicate a trustworthy and skilled practitioner you can rely on.
Step 4: Schedule a Consultation
Schedule a consultation with your dentist to discuss your concern. Inquire about their extraction approach, risks, anesthesia options, and recovery expectations.
Step 5: Evaluate Communication and Comfort
Choose a dentist who communicates clearly, listens attentively, and makes you feel comfortable during the consultation. A strong connection can ease anxieties and build trust before the procedure.
The Leading Dental Offers for Wisdom Teeth Extraction Services in Maple Ridge
Taking care of your child’s oral health is necessary, and entrusting it to professionals ensures optimal care. Regular dental check-ups, cleanings, specialized treatments, and wisdom teeth extraction contribute to your child’s overall well-being.
Call our dentists at Westgate Dental Centre today to schedule wisdom teeth extractions services in Maple Ridge. Let the professionals take care of your little ones’ oral hygiene so that they can maintain a healthy and confident smile for years.