What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Most people experience the emergence of a third set of molars that errupt through their gums around their late teens to early twenties. These are referred to as wisdom teeth. If they are healthy and properly aligned with enough space to grow in, there is no need to have them removed.
However, more often than not, they become impacted or pose other health complications or risks, necessitating their removal or extraction.
Is It Necessary to Remove Wisdom Teeth?
If your wisdom teeth grow in straight, and they are over-crowding other teeth, it’s generally not necessary to have them removed. In most cases, however, wisdom teeth become impacted, and removal is the only option.
Signs of impacted wisdom teeth include:
- Pain in the jaw
- Abscess/Infection in the jaw
- Red or swollen gums
- Pain while opening your mouth
- Foul tastes
- Bad breath
Ignoring these symptoms may result in damage to other teeth, increased risk of infection, poor oral hygiene and more. Tooth decay due to impacted wisdom teeth can lead to infections and/or require further treatment.
What Is The Tooth Removal Procedure Like?
Your dentist performing the extraction may use one of three different kinds of anesthesia. What kind your treatment warrants depends on the complexity of the extraction about to take place and your preferences. In all cases your gums and associated tissues are numbed so that you will feel little to no pain and only mild discomfort.
Types of Anesthesia Include:
Given through an IV. This type of anesthesia will result in a loss of consciousness for the duration of the procedure.
One or more injections given near the site of the extraction. A numbing agent will be applied to the gums before the injection. You may feel some pressure, but you shouldn’t experience any pain.
This is not commonly offered for wisdom tooth extraction, but there are some special cases. This option includes inhaling medication or having an IV line in your arm. Sometimes, both are used in tandem. This would result in a loss of consciousness, and a team of experts would be required to monitor your vitals.
The procedure itself can be summed up in the following four steps:
- An incision is made in the gums to expose the tooth and bone.
- The bone that blocks access to the root of the tooth is removed.
- The dentist, or oral surgeon, will divide the tooth into sections.
- They will remove the tooth.
If you were put under for the procedure, you would then be taken to a recovery room. If you had your extraction done at the dentist, you would spend a brief time recovering in the dental chair. Tylenol or Ibuprofen will be prescribed for pain management.