When You Should Consider Wisdom Tooth Extraction
The wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars to come in. They will usually appear around someone’s late teens or early twenties. While there are some people whose wisdom teeth are perfectly healthy and won’t cause issues for their smile, for most, wisdom teeth will need to be extracted.
Reasons A Wisdom Tooth May Be Removed
When the jaws aren’t big enough to support these wisdom teeth, the rest of one's teeth become impacted. Wisdom teeth may also only partially erupt through the gums, leaving a flap of tissue open for food and bacteria to become trapped. This can increase someone’s chances of an infection. Wisdom teeth can also grow in at an awkward angle and affect the health of other neighboring teeth. In more serious cases, infection or damage to the bone can occur in those with impacted wisdom teeth.
Removing Wisdom Teeth
Before your wisdom teeth are removed, we will administer a local anesthesia to numb the area. In some cases, sedation dentistry will also be used to help relax the patient during their procedure. To remove the wisdom teeth we will open up the gums and remove the bone that covers the wisdom tooth. Then we will cut the tooth into pieces to make it easier to remove. If the wisdom teeth have fully erupted, then only a simple extraction is required (in which the teeth are pulled using forceps).
Once the teeth are removed we will stitch up the gums. In many cases these stitches will dissolve over time. After the stitches have been placed, we will place a gauze pad over the areas to stop bleeding.
The recovery period for a wisdom tooth extraction is fairly fast, lasting only a couple of days. We will prescribe painkillers to take as needed for discomfort or pain. You will also need to follow a soft-food diet. You can slowly reintroduce more solid foods to your diet as your mouth begins to heal. We will provide you with a list of do’s and don’ts for after your wisdom tooth surgery.