Tooth removal, tooth extraction, cavity removal, wisdom tooth extraction.
Wisdom teeth: These are the third molars that appear during young adulthood, generally between the ages of 17 and 22. In some people, they grow in with minimal discomfort and no problems. In many others, they emerge from the gumline crooked, tilted, or not at all. Most people end up having their wisdom teeth removed, either as a measure to prevent issues or after they begin having a problem with the teeth.
Why Are Wisdom Teeth Usually Extracted?
Due to their position in the far corners of the mouth, it’s difficult to keep wisdom teeth clean, even if they are fully erupted. If you have yours in and they are straight, it’s important to clean behind them every time you brush and floss your teeth. Otherwise, they will be susceptible to decay, which can lead to pain and infection.
In many cases, though, the teeth come in crooked. This means that they can push other teeth out of alignment or make it difficult for you to chew properly. They can even cause decay or pain in the teeth touching them. Other times, the teeth don’t erupt at all and instead stay under the gumline. They can become abscessed or grow perpendicular to the molars directly in front of them, pushing them out of position. All of these are reasons to have the teeth extracted.
What Does Extraction Entail?
If your wisdom teeth have come in, it’s possible to have them removed by your general dentist. They might be taken out one at a time, two at a time, or all four at once. If you prefer to have just local anesthetic, then having both teeth on one side taken out, then the teeth on the other side taken out at a different time, can allow you to avoid the uncomfortable experience of being completely numb in all four quadrants of your mouth. The extraction of erupted wisdom teeth is not unlike the extraction of any other teeth; you’ll feel some pulling and pressure, but won’t feel pain, and healing will take place fairly quickly in most cases.
If the teeth are impacted or otherwise compromised, however, you may be referred to an oral surgeon. There, you can choose to have sedation so that you won’t feel anything or remember much about the procedure. For an impacted wisdom tooth, the surgeon will need to cut through the gum and possibly the bone. After this type of procedure, you will likely be swollen and bruised for several days and will need to limit your diet to soft, bland foods for a few days to a week.
What Are the Risks of Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
Most people have their wisdom teeth extracted with no complications. As with any procedure, there’s always a small risk of infection, excessive bleeding or reactions to the anesthesia used. You could develop a dry socket, which is a painful (but very treatable) complication. You’re more at risk of developing problems after extraction if you are a smoker or if you do not follow the dentist’s instructions regarding what you can eat and how you should take your medication.
Wisdom teeth extraction is a safe and effective procedure for most people. If you are wondering whether you should have yours out, give the office a call and we’ll schedule an appointment for you to talk to the dentist about your options.