Wisdom Tooth Extraction
What is a wisdom tooth extraction?
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth to develop and emerge into the mouth. They are the furthest back in the mouth and come in behind the second molars between the ages of 17 and 25. Wisdom teeth are the most common teeth to become impacted. An impacted wisdom tooth is unable to fully enter the mouth due to insufficient room on the jawline. If left in the mouth, an impacted wisdom tooth can cause unnecessary damage. Many times, the wisdom teeth apply pressure to the tooth in front of them and cause the teeth to move out of position. The pressure caused by the wisdom teeth can also cause more serious issues such as cavities or bone resorption in neighboring teeth. If an infected wisdom tooth is not removed, it may generate a fluid-filled cyst, which can destroy the jawbone and damage the surrounding nerves and teeth.
Do I need my wisdom teeth removed?
If you are experiencing pain, swelling, or severe gum sensitivity in the back of your mouth, this may be a sign that your wisdom teeth need to be removed. Although wisdom teeth can remain healthy, they may become impacted if there is not sufficient room on your jawline for them to grow. Your doctor may recommend an extraction if your wisdom teeth have become impacted and are causing discomfort or damage to the surrounding teeth.
What happens when a wisdom tooth becomes impacted?
When the jawline is too crowded for wisdom teeth, or third molars, to erupt properly, they begin to grow in sideways. Impaction can lead to infection, inflammation, and gum disease. If left untreated, impacted wisdom teeth may cause damage to neighboring teeth.
How does the procedure work?
When you schedule a consultation with [doctor], an oral exam and x-rays will help your doctor determine whether your wisdom teeth are at risk for infection and require removal. During the procedure, the affected area will be numbed with a local anesthetic for your comfort. Depending on your situation, you may be sedated so that you can relax without fear or discomfort. After surgery, you will need a few days of recovery and may have eating restrictions while your mouth heals. Your doctor will prescribe painkillers as needed to help you heal more comfortably.
Do I need to be sedated for my wisdom teeth extractions?
When you schedule a consultation with your doctor, an oral exam and x-ray will help your doctor recommend the best method for you. Some procedures are done under local anesthetic, with a mild sedative, or with general sedation. Your doctor will discuss your options with you and make sure you are comfortable during your procedure.