Your wisdom teeth are your third and final molars that typically most individuals get when they’re in their late teenage years or early twenties. In some cases, wisdom teeth can be valuable assets to your mouth when they’re properly aligned and healthy. However, more frequently, they’re misaligned and removal is necessary.
When Is Wisdom Tooth Removal Needed?
If your wisdom teeth do cause issues, or the dentist sees on X-rays they may become a problem later on, they’ll need to be extracted. Your wisdom teeth that come in can grow in a variety of angles, even horizontally in some cases, and can cause an array of serious issues like:
1. Infection and Inflammation
Because of a combination of partial impactions and limited space, wisdom teeth frequently cause gum inflammation. This could result in painful gum disease or other problems. When inflammation does set in, it can be hard to alleviate it. It can spread to surrounding areas and often does. When you have a partially impacted tooth, a separation between your gums and this tooth can create a breeding ground for bacteria, which drastically increases your risk of infection.
When your wisdom teeth erupt, they’re actually trying to pop into an already crowded area. And, since they don’t have a lot of room to move into, they often push surrounding teeth aside, leading to misalignment. Regardless of whether your straight, beautiful smile is due to genetics or braces, it doesn’t take much for wisdom teeth to undo this perfect smile and totally unravel many years of dental work.
3. Damage to Neighboring Teeth
While it’s likely to experience overcrowding, wisdom teeth could do more to their surrounding neighbors than just invade their space. Actually, they could cause damage to the adjacent second molars because they contribute to cavities and bone loss.
4. Difficulty in Keeping Clean
If you’re not experiencing any obvious complications or pain when your wisdom teeth come in, this doesn’t mean your dental hygiene isn’t still at potential risk. Usually, space is very minimal, and it can be hard for you to brush and floss properly around your wisdom teeth. Your wisdom teeth’ limited space and difficult-to-reach location make them susceptible to plaque buildup and cavities.
5. Development of Tumors or Cysts
Impacted wisdom teeth could lead to small cysts or tumors in your jawbone, leading to joint pain that requires a TMJ professional’s assistance and various TMJ treatment options you’ll most likely rather avoid.
How Does the Dentist Remove Your Wisdom Teeth?
How easy it is for your oral surgeon or dentist to remove your wisdom teeth will depend on their stage of development and their position. Your dental provider can provide you with an idea of what you can expect during your pre-extraction examination. Wisdom teeth that have totally erupted through your gum can be extracted just like any one of your other teeth. It’s a fairly easy process.
But, if your wisdom tooth is embedded in your jawbone, underneath your gums, it will require the dentist to make an incision in your gums and remove the part of the bone lying over the tooth. They’ll often need to extract small sections of the tooth in cases like these instead of just removing one piece. This is to minimize how much bone is needed to be removed in order to extract the entire tooth.
Your procedure shouldn’t take more than 45 minutes to an hour.
You’ll receive some form of anesthesia, so you don’t experience any pain during the extraction. Anesthesia options are:
- Local: The dentist numbs your mouth with a local anesthetic like novocaine, mepivacaine, or lidocaine. You might also be asked to breathe nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to help you relax or even sleep during your procedure. Shortly afterward, you’ll feel alert again.
- General: You’ll either receive medication through your vein or you’ll have to breathe in gas through a mask. During your procedure, you’ll be asleep the entire time, and it might take you an hour or so to wake up after your procedure.
- IV Sedation: The dentist will numb your mouth and provide you with medication through your vein to make you drowsy. You may even sleep during the entire surgery.
The dentist might need to cut your bone or gums to remove the teeth. If so, they’ll then have to stitch your wounds shut to allow them to quickly heal. The stitches typically dissolve after several days. They might also soak up some blood by stuffing gauze pads in your mouth.
After Your Wisdom Teeth Removal Procedure
After your surgery, you’ll experience certain common discomforts like swelling and bleeding. Your dentist will give you instructions on how to treat these, but typically you’ll be instructed to apply a moist gauze pad to the area to slow the bleeding. You’ll need to keep pressure on it for about 45 minutes. You can use ice packs and rest them on the outside of your cheek close to the affected area to combat swelling.
Contact DFW Oral Surgeons for Your Wisdom Teeth Removal Consultation
If you’re searching for a wisdom tooth professional with board certification and deep experience to provide you with outstanding care, contact DFW Oral Surgeons at 972-539-1491. We welcome new patients into our Flower Mound, TX office, and will make your comfort and care our top priority.