AZ Oral Facial & Implant Surgery

Summer Break Wisdom Teeth Removal

Chandler & San Tan Valley AZ

As COVID restrictions lift and teenagers return to in-person school and activities, our schedules seem to have gotten very busy.

Thankfully, summer is on the way.

Consider using the break this summer, while your child is out of school, to have their wisdom teeth removed.

Wondering why?

Why the rush?

Read on to discover why having your teen’s wisdom teeth removed even when they are not causing them issues is almost always the right thing to do.

Wisdom Teeth Removal as a Rite of Passage

You may have noticed that most children have their wisdom teeth removed during their high school and post high school/college years.

The third set of molars are called wisdom teeth because they usually come in during the teen years, as children are entering adulthood and becoming wiser. And if we remove them before the roots are fully established, the extraction process goes much smoother, and your child will face fewer complications in the future.

Why should my teen have their wisdom teeth removed?

The most common question around wisdom teeth removal is why they need to be removed when they feel fine.

Wisdom teeth, themselves, are not the problem.

It’s the damage they can cause to the rest of the mouth that is the real issue.

The longer a person waits, the greater the chances are for a more complicated removal. Studies show that the body will regenerate bone, decreasing the likelihood of severe bone loss, if the wisdom teeth are removed before the age of 26.

We are also wanting to prevent crowding and orthodontic treatment as well as preventing cysts and tumors.

Here are the top 5 reasons for the removal of painless and seemingly unnoticeable wisdom teeth:

Overcrowding and Misalignment

When wisdom teeth begin to erupt, we already have 28 teeth in our mouth, so there isn’t much room left for four more molars because our diets have become very refined and do not deveop the spacing for them.

As they push their way in, they tend to prevent neighboring teeth to erupt properly, and they crowd the mouth, pushing and misaligning other teeth.

Whether your child’s straight smile is due to years of orthodontic treatment or good genes, wisdom teeth can undo their perfect smile.

Gum Infection and Inflammation

When a tooth is partially impacted (a condition that occurs for most people in at least one tooth), it gets stuck in the gums, unable to fully erupt. This normally creates a gap between the

tooth and the gums, a place where bacteria like to set up camp and cause an infection. Other potential dangers include gum disease, inflammation, and tooth decay.

Poor Dental Hygiene

If your teen’s wisdom teeth have come in but their teeth still seem straight, they are undoubtedly tight, and their mouth is crowded, nonetheless.

This makes it extremely difficult for them to care for their teeth properly.

When teeth are too snug and space is at a minimum, flossing becomes nearly impossible. Teeth become prime targets for cavities and plaque buildup when they can’t be brushed adequately.

Tumors and Cysts

When wisdom teeth can’t fully erupt and they are impacted, they can cause tumors and cysts in your jawbone.

Those tumors and cysts can lead to joint pain which would require TMJ treatment, turning a relatively small procedure into a larger, more complicated series of treatments.

Damage to Neighboring Teeth

When wisdom teeth come in, they typically cause more harm to nearby teeth than simply invading their space. Up close and personal, they can contribute to decay and bone loss in the molars that are next to them.

Still not sure?

In addition to leading to serious complications and diseases, impacted wisdom teeth can lead to jaw pain and swelling, inflamed, bleeding, and irritated gums, bad breath, gum and bone loss, and damage to structure in your mouth.

We recommend calling a wisdom teeth expert like Dr. Shah today to discuss your teen’s situation.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. It’s always safer to be proactive rather than reactive. Take advantage of your child’s summer break, and call us, your wisdom teeth specialist, to schedule an evaluation today!

Wisdom Teeth Aftercare

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Having your impacted wisdom teeth removed is a serious surgical procedure, and post-operative care is extremely important! Read on for instructions on how to care for your sore mouth, and how to minimize unnecessary pain and complications.

Immediately Following Surgery:
Keep a firm, yet gentle, bite on the gauze packs that have been placed in your mouth to keep them in place. You can remove them after an hour if the bleeding is controlled. If the surgical area continues to bleed, place new gauze for another 30 to 45 minutes.

Do Not:
• Rinse vigorously
• Probe the area
• Smoke (hopefully you don’t!!)
• Participate in strenuous activities

You Can:
• Brush gently (but not the area)
• Begin saltwater rinses 24 hours after surgery (mix 1 tbs of salt with 1 cup of water).
• Make sure to swish gently. These rinses should be done 2-3 times a day, especially after eating.

Enjoy some down-time! Keep activity level to a minimum! Enjoy a day of couch or bed-rest, as being active could result in increased bleeding. Avoid exercise for 3-4 days, and when you do begin exercising again, keep in mind your caloric intake has been reduced so you may feel weaker. There are also some diet restrictions to keep in mind!

Eat nourishing food that takes little effort.
Avoid:
• Extremely hot foods
• Straws (for the first few days)
• Chewing (until tongue sensation has returned)
• Smaller foods that can become stuck in the socket area
• Skipping meals—while eating may seem like a lot of work, you need your nourishment to be able to heal and feel better!

Swelling is a completely normal occurrence. Keep in mind, swelling will usually be at it’s worst in the 2-3 days after surgery. You can minimize swelling by applying a cold compress (covered with a towel) firmly to the cheek next to the surgical area. Apply the pack with 20 minutes on, and 20 minutes off for the first 24-48 hours.

Since no two mouths are alike, do not take advice from friends (even well-intended advice could cause a healing set-back). The advice given to you from your doctor and team are tailored to fit your needs. Please call us if you have any questions or concerns about your recovery. Happy healing!

How to Take Care of Your Dental Implant

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Cleaning and taking care of your implant is just as important as cleaning your natural teeth. Here are some things you should know about caring for your implant.

Your implant and your natural teeth are similar because they both rely on healthy tissue for support! Just like with real teeth, plaque buildup can be harmful. It’s important to remove that plaque because it can develop into an infection. If the infection isn’t properly treated, it can result in a loss of bone around the implant which could progress to the loss of the implant itself.

It’s important to get your teeth cleaned on a regular basis so your dental hygienist can get biofilm off your teeth and keep your teeth infection-free. As always, you should be brushing your teeth and flossing twice a day.

Dental implants are the closest thing you can get to real and natural teeth. They don’t require any special products or treatment, just a simple brush and floss will do the job! If they are properly cared for, they can last a lifetime, avoiding any further dental work down the road.

With a dental implant, you can still enjoy all your favorite foods. It will not loosen or fall out if you are chewing something hard.

Overall, dental implants are meant to make life better and easier! You don’t have to go out of your way to take care of them – a simple brush and floss will ensure that they improve your overall quality of life for many years to come.

If you think a dental implant may be right for you, call AZ Oral Facial & Implant Surgery at Chandler Location Phone Number 480-814-9500 to schedule a consultation!

Flossing: Absolutely Necessary!

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Yes, You Still Have to Floss. No, the dance move “flossing” does not count. The AP recently released an article making the claim that “there’s little proof that flossing works”. Their review cited a series of studies that found flossing does little or nothing to improve oral health. Here’s the problem: the studies were flawed. The AP concluded that floss does little for oral health, but it’s important to note that the evidence they cited was very weak at best. In fact, they said so themselves.

As acknowledged by the AP, many of these studies were extremely short. “Some lasted only two weeks, far too brief for a cavity or dental disease to develop” (Associated Press). They also say that “One tested 25 people after only a single use of floss” (Associated Press).

Of course, the evidence is unreliable. You don’t simply develop gum disease because you forgot to floss yesterday. Cavities and gum disease do not happen overnight. Gum disease is preventable by maintain great oral health habits for a long period of time. Lets put it this way: If a study claims drinking milk does nothing for bone health, but draws conclusions after only three glasses of milk, is it a reliable study?

The fact of the matter is floss removes gunk from teeth. You can see it. Gunk feeds bacteria which leads to plaque, cavities, poor gum health, and eventually gum disease. Floss has the ability to reach the food particles that your brush can’t get to. Using a sawing motion instead of moving up and around the teeth to clean the cracks. Positive results come from correct use and it’s critical that people learn to use a tool properly before discarding it as useless.

That’s just what floss is: a tool. Just like your toothbrush, it is designed to keep your mouth clean, and therefore keep your body safe from infection. Both your toothbrush and floss are designed to do what the other can’t, and both successfully remove bacteria from your mouth. Just like proper brushing technique, it is important that you know how to use floss properly, so that you can reap the long-term health benefits of good oral hygiene.

Oral hygiene is a long-term process and requires long term observations to make worthwhile conclusions. In the meantime, it’s obvious that you should continue to do everything you can to protect your well-being, and floss is one of many tools that can help you do that. If you would like a refresher on the best, most efficient techniques for floss use feel free to call our office today.

Wisdom Teeth: Questions Answered

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If you or your child are getting your wisdom teeth removed, you must have questions! We are here to make you feel as comfortable as possible. As always, if you have other questions feel free to contact us. We are more than happy to help you understand more on your upcoming procedure. Read on for some frequently asked questions:

1. Why do we have Wisdom Teeth?
Centuries ago our human ancestors used wisdom teeth to help them grind up tough food, like leaves and roots. Their jaws were larger and had more room for extra molars. As we evolved, our diets changed to include softer foods. The third molars became unnecessary as our jaws became smaller.

2. Why do I need to have my wisdom teeth removed?
There are several reasons why you would need your wisdom teeth extracted, as they can cause a variety of complications.
• Impaction: If there is not enough room in your mouth, your wisdom teeth will become impacted and grow at an angle. This can cause problems such as pain and discomfort while eating.
• Damage to other teeth: Your impacted tooth can begin pushing against your second molars, causing potential tooth decay.
• Disease: Spaces between the impacted tooth and your molars allows room for bacteria to grow, putting you at risk for inflammation, cysts, and periodontal (gum) disease.

3. When should I get my wisdom teeth removed?
Wisdom teeth usually come out between the ages of 17- 25, and are typically removed during your high school years. The longer you wait, the more complications that may arise. The root will continue growing and can cause potential permanent nerve damage.

4. When are wisdom teeth okay to keep?
If there is enough room for them to erupt correctly without causing any damage, then they are safe to keep. It is also important to note that not everyone is born with all four wisdom teeth, as evolution has been removing them for generations.

We hope this article has helped you, and if you have any other questions please contact us. Everyone’s teeth are different, and we want to make sure we take the right course of action for your wisdom teeth.