Wisdom teeth removal is a surgical procedure in which the dentist removes one or more wisdom (adult) teeth of the patient —located at the back corners of the mouth. If an impacted wisdom tooth doesn’t have room to grow, resulting in pain, or infection, the person will likely need to have it pulled to prevent future dental problems.
Wisdom teeth are the last permanent teeth in the mouth, usually, appear between 17 and 25 years of age. Many people erupt wisdom teeth normally— and cause no problems, whereas others suffer severe pain.
An impacted wisdom tooth may grow
- toward the back of the mouth
- toward the next tooth (second molar)
- at a right angle (within the jawbone) to the other teeth
- straight up or down, same as other teeth are growing, but stay trapped within the jawbone
Why need to extract wisdom teeth?
The following problems could occur with impacted wisdom teeth
- Periodontal disease –Infection or gum disease
- Trapping food behind the wisdom tooth
- Tooth decay
- Damage to a surrounding bone or nearby tooth
- Development of a cyst (fluid-filled sac) around the wisdom tooth
- Other orthodontic treatment complications–– to straighten other teeth
What questions to ask the dentist or oral surgeon?
- How many teeth need to extract?
- How complicated the wisdom tooth extraction procedure to be?
- What type of anesthesia will be given? Local, Sedation or General anesthesia?
- How long is the procedure?
- Is there any potential risk of nerve damage?
- Have the infected teeth caused damage to other teeth?
- Are other dental treatments also suggested?
- How long does it take to heal completely?
During a wisdom tooth extraction
The oral surgeon or dentist:
- Makes a little incision in the patient’s gum tissue to expose the tooth
- Removes bone that blocks access (if any) to the root of the tooth
- Divides the tooth into sections
- Removes the tooth
- Deeply cleans the surrounding area of the removed tooth
- Stitches the wound closed for faster healing
- Places gauze (to control bleeding )over the extraction site
After the procedure
As the patient heals from surgery, he or she needs to follow the dentist’s instructions as follows:
- On the first day after tooth removal, some oozing of blood may occur. Try to avoid excessive spitting and replace gauze over the wisdom tooth extraction site as directed.
- Pain management. The patient may be able to manage pain with acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or other over-the-counter pain relievers as prescribed by the dentist or oral surgeon.
- Swelling and bruising. As directed by the surgeon, the patient can use ice packs to improve any swelling of cheeks ––usually improves in two days. However, bruising may take more days to resolve.
- The patient is advised to drink lots of water after the wisdom tooth surgery. And isn’t allowed to drink alcoholic, carbonated, hot, or caffeinated beverages in the first 24 hours.
Wisdom Teeth Removal in San Diego
At Orange Family Dentistry, our goal is to help patients preserve their natural teeth for a long time and consider tooth removal as the last option. However, in some exceptional cases, the tooth remains damaged even after the treatment, and hence extraction remains the only solution for this.