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Wisdom Teeth Specialist

Northern Lights Dental Clinic

Dentistry located in 2595 St. Nicholas Dr. North Pole, AK

Wisdom teeth may be the last molars to grow in, but they cause more problems than any other adult teeth. The experienced team at Northern Lights Dental Clinic understands your frustration. That’s why they perform skilled wisdom tooth extractions at their office in North Pole, Alaska. If you’re struggling with your wisdom teeth, call Northern Lights Dental Clinic or book an appointment online to learn more about your options.

Wisdom Teeth Q & A

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are often referred to as your third molars because they grow in the very back of your mouth and don’t emerge until your late teens or early twenties. Most people have four wisdom teeth in total, two on top and two on the bottom, though some don’t have a full set.

In many cases, wisdom teeth become impacted, meaning there’s not enough room in your mouth for your teeth to comfortably erupt through the gums. While impaction is the most common reason for wisdom tooth extraction, other problems include:

  • Cavities and tooth decay
  • Tooth infection
  • Damage or abnormal tissue surrounding the teeth
  • Bone loss
  • Cyst
  • Damage to surrounding teeth
  • Severe pain
  • Wisdom teeth that grow in crooked

While some people never struggle with their wisdom teeth, nearly 85% of adults have theirs extracted at some point in their lives.

Should I have my wisdom teeth removed?

At your routine dental visits, the Northern Lights Dental Clinic team takes detailed X-rays of your entire mouth revealing how well your wisdom teeth are growing in. If anything looks abnormal on your scans, the team may recommend wisdom tooth removal. Other warning signs include:

  • Gum pain
  • Gum inflammation
  • Inner ear pain
  • Jaw pain
  • Jaw swelling
  • Problems opening your mouth fully

Call Northern Lights Dental Clinic right away if you begin experiencing frequent bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth, as these are telltale symptoms of a tooth infection.

How are wisdom teeth extracted?

If you decide to have your wisdom teeth removed, the team numbs your gums and teeth with a local anesthetic so you feel no pain during the procedure. Because your damaged or impacted wisdom teeth may still be embedded in the jawbone, the team removes a portion of the bone covering your teeth to extract them.

It’s important that the team keeps as much of your bone intact as possible, so your provider often chooses to “section” each tooth, meaning it’s removed piece by piece through a small opening in the bone. The team then cleans the entire area and stitches up the wound. 

Before your appointment, make sure to coordinate a ride home with a friend or relative. Once you arrive back home, follow your dentist’s recovery instructions and relax. Swelling and bruising are perfectly normal and should subside over the next few days.

For more information on what to expect during the healing process, call the experienced team at Northern Lights Dental Clinic or book an appointment online.