What Is Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth to develop and emerge into the mouth. They are the furthest back in the mouth and come in behind the second molars between 17 and 25 years old. Wisdom teeth are the most common teeth to become impacted. An impacted wisdom tooth is unable to fully enter the mouth due to insufficient room on the jawline. If left in the mouth, the impacted wisdom tooth can cause unnecessary damage.
The wisdom teeth often apply pressure to the tooth in front of them and cause the teeth to move out of position. The pressure caused by the wisdom teeth can also cause more severe issues such as cavities or bone resorption in neighboring teeth. If an infected wisdom tooth is not removed, it may generate a fluid-filled cyst, destroying the jawbone and damaging the surrounding nerves and teeth.
Do I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
If you are experiencing pain, swelling, or severe gum sensitivity in the back of your mouth, this may be a sign that your wisdom teeth need to be removed. Although wisdom teeth can remain healthy, they may become impacted if there is not sufficient room on your jawline for them to grow. Your dentist may recommend an extraction if your wisdom teeth have become impacted and are causing discomfort or damage to the surrounding teeth.
What Happens When a Wisdom Tooth Becomes Impacted?
When the jawline is too crowded for wisdom teeth to erupt correctly, they begin to grow sideways. Impaction can lead to infection, inflammation, and gum disease. If left untreated, impacted wisdom teeth may cause damage to neighboring teeth.
How Does the Procedure Work?
When you schedule a consultation with your dentist, an oral exam and x-rays will help your dentist determine whether your wisdom teeth are at risk for infection and require removal. During the procedure, the affected area will be numbed with a local anesthetic for your comfort. Depending on your situation, you may be sedated so that you can relax without fear or discomfort. After surgery, you will need a few days of recovery and may have eating restrictions while your mouth heals. Your dentist will prescribe painkillers as necessary to help you recover more comfortably.
Do I Need to Be Sedated for My Wisdom Teeth Extractions?
When you schedule a consultation, an oral exam and x-rays will help your dentist recommend the best method for you. Some procedures are done under local anesthetic, with a mild sedative, or with general sedation. Your dentist will discuss your options with you and make sure you are comfortable during your procedure.