Wisdom Tooth Extraction
How does this differ from “extractions” which means difficult surgical removal of impacted unerupted wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth can be extracted or surgically removed, it all depends on if they have erupted or not. First of all, wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth that erupt, typically from age 18 to 22. There have been many cases where they appear in later ages of life, 30, 40, even at 50 years! But what happens if they don’t erupt? Unerupted wisdom teeth can go either way, they can remain asymptomatic or, more likely, cause problems that require their removal.
Due to their position, most common symptoms include discomfort and pain in whole molar segment that even extends towards the ear. If they are rotated towards adjacent teeth, they tend to pressure them thus migrating whole segment forward, making front teeth crowded.
When tooth is erupted and visible in the mouth all it takes is some local anesthesia and forceps to pull it out. But if it’s not erupted it demands a different approach, surgical. Surgical removal of wisdom teeth is a routine procedure, done in about 20 minutes if there are no complications. It differs from extractions because it involves procedures like incision, raising a flap, working with bone tissue, stitching, etc.
Procedure is fairly simple. For providing an approach, small cut in gums is made and bone tissue is reduced until tooth becomes visible and accessible. Depending on shape, size and position of the tooth, it goes out in one piece or it’s divided into sections and removed in multiple pieces. After removal, site is cleaned, gums are positioned back in place and stitches are placed.
It’s always painless, patient can choose between local anesthesia or sedation. It can even be performed in general anesthesia, but that’s for special situations.
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars in the back of your mouth (the ones closest to your throat). Most people have four of them (one on each corner of your jaw) but not everyone does. They usually tend to grow in between the ages of 17 and 25 years. If the wisdom teeth remains trapped in the bone, usually by a lack of space in the jaw, the teeth are considered to be impacted and need to be removed, otherwise they can cause swelling and infections in the jaw, along with pain.
When is the best time to remove wisdom teeth?
If an x-ray shows wisdom teeth trying to find a way to develop but there is not enough space, your dentist will be able to determine when to remove them. However a lot of patients only realize they are developing wisdom teeth due to pain or swelling in gums. Age is also a consideration when deciding when to remove wisdom teeth, but your dentist can determine that based on your particular case. Sometimes they are also removed to prepare for orthodontic treatment.
Do all wisdom teeth have to be extracted?
Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed, it depends on the dental situation of each individual patient. Wisdom teeth typically do not need to be removed if they’re healthy, have grown in completely (meaning they’re fully erupted), are positioned correctly and bite properly with the opposing teeth on the upper or lower jaw, and are able to be be properly cleaned and flossed in a patient’s daily hygiene practices.
Symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth
- pain in the jaw and side of the face
- difficulty in opening jaw
- unpleasant taste when eating and bad breath
- numbness in the jaw
- bleeding gums
Fairview Family Dental is experienced in performing tooth extractions and we try to make the procedure as comfortable and stress-free as possible. Please call us at (519) 720-0448 to schedule an appointment.
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