Wisdom Tooth Extraction
An impacted wisdom tooth, or any tooth, is a tooth that is unable to fully emerge. This is most often due to lack of room. Wisdom teeth, or the third set of molars, are the last teeth to erupt causing them to be the most susceptible to being impacted. An impacted tooth is at high risk of infection and causing problems with neighboring teeth and tissue, leading to most dentists recommending they be removed. Our staff at Mor Smiles can monitor your specific needs and make recommendations based on them.
Impaction can vary in degree, but whether a tooth is completely under the gums or mostly emerged, it all falls under the category of impacted. The term simply means that the tooth is being prevented to some degree to do what it needs to. Impacted teeth are problematic. They can cause:
||Infection: An impacted tooth can be a place that bacteria can enter causing infection. It is difficult, if not impossible, to brush and floss. The tooth can become decayed, even under the gums. Bacteria can pass between the gum tissue and tooth causing both gum disease and decay.
||Alignment Issues: When a tooth has inadequate spacing, there can still be some pushing and shoving in an attempt to make space. This pushing can be both painful, and damaging to the alignment of neighboring teeth. We have even seen wisdom teeth twisted in odd directions that then push against neighboring teeth.
When Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?
We do not take extraction lightly, in fact it is best to keep teeth whenever possible. Due to the long term problems associated with wisdom teeth, for many of our patients, it is best to have your wisdom teeth extracted. Additionally, in an attempt to catch this potential problem before it is one, we recommend patients have their wisdom teeth removed in young adulthood. We try to remove them when there is enough tooth to grab a hold of, but before the roots have grown long enough to form a hook shape.
There are two types of extraction, simple or surgical. A simple extraction is done when there is enough tooth structure to grab a hold of it with pliers, then using an elevator to lift the tooth up and pull the tooth out with pliers. The removal of impacted wisdom teeth is often surgical, meaning cuts need to be made to the tissue to remove the tooth.
A surgical extraction begins with ensuring that the patient is comfortable. We will apply a local anesthetic, and then depending on how many teeth are being extracted, we may use a conscious sedative. Some patients, especially those having all four removed, may have this work done through general anesthesia. Once the patient is comfortable, we can then proceed. Surgical extraction often includes the tooth being quartered and removed in segments. After the tooth is removed, the area is then sutured and packed to help with bleeding.
Care instructions are provided, including symptoms to look for and signs of infection. The removal of wisdom teeth is quite jarring to the bone tissue and there will be swelling. We recommend following all post-op directions and taking any prescribed medication as noted. It can take a few days to feel like yourself. Be prepared that you will need to take a couple of days off of work or school following wisdom teeth removal.
Call us today at 223-258-5088 to discuss any questions or concerns you may have regarding wisdom tooth extraction.