All You Need to Know about Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Wisdom teeth are the third molars that appear last, after all molars have erupted by the time an individual reaches maturity. They are the last of permanent teeth to grow in the entire series of teeth eruption in the mouth.
Why is there a need to extract wisdom tooth?
In most cases wisdom teeth erupt between the ages of 17 to 25, but in some cases they may appear as late as 35. Sometimes they may not even appear at all! For some fortunate people they appear as normally as other teeth appear, but many face multiple problems with wisdom teeth and may need help.
What is wisdom tooth extraction?
Generally, wisdom tooth erupts after all permanent teeth have appeared. When all teeth have erupted there is a shortage of room for the wisdom tooth to erupt. Many times, the wisdom tooth which is already formed and is ready to come out, cannot erupt because of crowding and lack of space. When such a situation arises, the tooth in question has to be helped with a surgical procedure either to erupt or removed.
The wisdom teeth are located at the back of the mouth. On both upper and lower jaws. One or more teeth can get impacted, or do not have enough room to grow and get crowded which may cause infections and some dental problems resulting in severe pain. These teeth will have to be pulled out. In some cases, patients are advised by oral surgeons to get wisdom teeth pulled out even if they are not impacted at present but may get compacted in future and cause trouble.
What is meant by impacted teeth?
Like the meaning suggests the impacted teeth are very close together and press each other with force which disturbs in the way new teeth growing out of the jaw.
- When wisdom tooth grows at an angle it ends up in the path of another molar, which results in impacted tooth causing complications of various kinds.
- When the wisdom tooth grows at an angle facing the back of mouth, it results in severe pain.
- When the wisdom tooth grows at the right angle to the next molar, it looks as if it is lying underneath the molar in the jawbone, causing pain and disrupting roots of the second molar.
- When the wisdom tooth may be growing like other teeth but does not come out, and stays put in the jaw bone.
What are the problems caused by impacted wisdom teeth?
- The major problem created by impact on teeth is severe pain. The Impacted teeth may cause trappings of food debris which turns into bacterial growth.
- In some cases, cysts develop around the wisdom tooth when it is impacted by the nearby molar resulting in fluid filled sacs, which causes further dental and mouth problems.
- The trapped food leads to infection and tooth decay. When there is very little space for the wisdom tooth to erupt, it may cause damage to the nearby tooth and if not treated soon enough it leads to bone damage.
- When other orthodontic treatment is on the way, the impacted teeth complicates the procedures and the dentist has to make a detour to accommodate the new problem.
The certain outcome from all these problems is severe pain and discomfort.
Is it possible to prevent future dental problems caused by impacted wisdom teeth?
There are differences in opinion about extraction of wisdom teeth before they give trouble. Dental professionals disagree on the extracting wisdom tooth regardless of them being asymptomatic. It is sometimes difficult to decide whether the wisdom tooth will pose a dental health problem in future or not. Here are the reasons for preventive extractions. Wisdom teeth usually pose more problems in adults requiring removal of wisdom teeth surgically. In young adults, the recovery from the surgery is also faster.
Extraction of wisdom tooth
Usually when the wisdom teeth are severely impacted, the dentist will suggest making an appointment with the dental oral surgeon. Dental surgery of this kind may require local anaesthesia and sedation during surgery for comfort during the procedure.
Before the decision to remove the wisdom teeth is taken, it is advisable to ask your dental surgeon about a few facts.
What do you need to ask your dental professional about wisdom tooth extraction?
- First of all, ask for the reason in detail about why is the surgery necessary.
- When you agree with the decision about extraction of wisdom tooth, ask about how long and how complicated the surgery will be.
- Also get the answer to your questions about health of neighbouring teeth. Will they be affected by the surgery?
- Get to know about nerve damage if surgery is going to deal with the jawbone.
- Ask your surgeon about the follow up treatment at a later date, the frequency and kind of treatment required at a later date.
- Also ask about the time required for complete healing.
- Finally, do ask about the cost of the whole treatment.
Preparation before the wisdom tooth extraction surgery
Usually it is outpatient procedure, so you will go home same day after the surgery is done. If you want, you can ask a friend or family to accompany you but it is not necessary.
After administering local or general anaesthesia, depending on the depth of incision, your dentist will incise your gum tissues so that the bone and tooth are exposed. If the tooth is not accessible, then your dentist may have to remove some bone to get access to the tooth. He may have to break the tooth in pieces for easy removal. After he has removed the tooth, he will clean the area to remove any debris from tooth and bone. Finally, he stitches up the wound to expedite healing. Bleeding is controlled by putting gauze on the extraction site to help clot the blood.
After the surgery the patient will be taken to recovery room to come out of sedation and anaesthesia. Mostly local anaesthesia patients wait in the dentist’s chair for a while.
It is advisable not to spit often to avoid excessive bleeding. Some bleeding is expected though. Pain relievers will be given to you that will remove discomfort after the surgery.
Some swelling will occur after the surgery which can be taken care of by using ice packs as advised by your dentist. Bruising will take a few days to go after the surgery. Normal activities can be taken up after the next day of surgery but avoids strenuous activity that may cause blood clot to fall off from the socket.
Soft foods for a day are advised. Next day you can move on to soft and semi soft foods. Avoid hard foods for a week. Avoid alcohol and hot beverages after surgery. Drink lot of cool water instead. Do not use straw for drinking as sucking action may cause the blood clot to be sucked in.
Do not brush or rinse your mouth for first 24 hours. Use soft brush and avoid brushing on the extraction site.
Categorised in: Wisdom Teeth
This post was written by Letooth