Not everyone has wisdom teeth, and those that do may not need to get them removed.
Those are the lucky few. Wisdom teeth are usually one to four permanent adult teeth located in the back corners at the top and bottom of the mouth. Wisdom teeth that need to be extracted are usually impacted or don’t have room to grow. Pain, infection as well as other dental problems are caused by them. Dentists or oral surgeons will be able to extract the problematic tooth/teeth. Even if impacted wisdom teeth aren’t causing issues at the time of the checkup, dentists and oral surgeons recommend removing them anyway to prevent future issues.
Wisdom teeth that are impacted can grow at an angle that will cause problems with the neighboring tooth. It can also grow towards the back of the mouth or even at a right angle to other teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth can simply grow straight up and down but not burst through the jawbone.
Problems from impacted wisdom tooth include:
- Trapped food and debris behind it
- Infection or gum disease
- Tooth decay in wisdom tooth
- Damage to nearby tooth or bone
- Cyst development around the tooth
There are some risks involved with surgical removal of wisdom teeth, as with any surgery. These surgeries will involve making an incision in the gum tissue as well as removing bone if need be. Some complications can occur such as:
- Painful dry socket
- Infection in the socket
- Damage to other teeth, nerves, jawbone or sinuses
Have any questions? Call Dr. Heather Darcey at Space Age Smiles 281-317-6881
The dentist or oral surgeon performing the procedure will use one of three types of anesthesia – local, sedation or general.
Local anesthesia will be used if the procedure isn’t too complicated.
The patient will be awake during the entire process but will be unable to feel pain. Sedation through an IV may be used as another type of anesthesia. The patient will be semi-awake but will be unable to feel any pain. He/She will also not have much memory of the surgery. General anesthesia will make the patient lose consciousness with a team of dental professionals monitoring his/her medication, breathing, temperature, fluids and blood pressure. There will be no pain or memory of the procedure.
Wisdom tooth extraction is a relatively simple process. The dentist or oral surgeon will:
- Make an incision in the gum tissue to expose the tooth and bone in question
- Remove any bone that blocks access to the wisdom tooth root
- Divide the tooth in section to make removal easier
- Remove the tooth sections
- Clean the surgical site as well as any debris from the tooth or bone
- Stitch the wound closed if necessary
- Place gauze over the site to control bleeding and help a blood clot form
After surgery, make sure to follow the dentist or oral surgeon’s instructions for a quick and healthy healing time. Call right away if the patient has any of these symptoms:
- Difficulty swallowing or breathing
- Excessive bleeding
- Severe pain
- Worsening swelling
- A bad taste in the mouth that can’t be removed with salt water rinsing
- Pus or oozing from the socket
- Persistent numbness or loss of feeling
- Blood or pus in nasal discharge
A follow up will not be needed unless stitches need to be removed, complications arose during the procedure or there are persistent problems after the surgery.