Are you needing your wisdom teeth removed, and are asking yourself, “How are wisdom teeth removed?” Well, let’s just say you’re not the only one, and in this article we will break down the extraction process in great detail so that you have a thorough understanding of how wisdom teeth are removed. Before we tackle the points of how they are removed, we need to start answering some of the basic questions about wisdom teeth.
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last teeth to erupt in the mouth. Their eruption is normally seen during your teenage years, although not all of them actually erupt. Some of these teeth remain embedded within your jawbones, and are called “impacted wisdom teeth.” Wisdom teeth are usually the teeth inside the mouth that can cause the most harm, which is why most dentists and oral surgeons recommend their removal during a patients young adult years. What kind of problems can wisdom teeth actually cause? This is the topic of our next section.
What problems are caused by wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth can cause a myriad of dental problems. The following is a list of these issues.
- Sore throat: Wisdom teeth may contribute to a sore throat, as they are a nesting spot for bacterial accumulation inside the mouth
- Infection: Due to bacterial overgrowth inside the mouth, wisdom teeth have been known to cause severe infections within the mouth, that if not treated, can turn into a systemic emergency.
- Swelling: Your gum tissues may get significantly swollen, especially if your wisdom teeth do not have enough space to erupt properly. Conditions such as pericoronitis can arise which leads to severe discomfort in those areas.
- Adjacent teeth damage: Some wisdom teeth grow in sideways which can actually damage your adjacent teeth. Caries formation on these adjacent teeth can lead to extensive dental treatment including possible dental extractions.
- Unbearable pain: If your wisdom teeth harbor caries themselves, it can lead to severe pain especially if the nerve of the tooth becomes exposed. These wisdom teeth normally need to be removed sooner rather than later.
What are the steps involved in wisdom teeth removal?
Your oral surgeons skills and techniques will determine how these teeth are removed. The following is a common approach in the removal of an impacted wisdom tooth:
- A local anesthetic, normally Lidocaine, is used to numb your tooth. Your may choose to be sedated prior to your local anesthetic injections.
- Your gum tissue is cut open and reflected by a dental blade and other dental instruments. This will give your surgery team direct access to your wisdom tooth.
- Bone tissue is removed from around the tooth, and the tooth is sectioned into pieces and removed.
- The area is irrigated and your gum tissue is sowed back together with a suture.
After wisdom teeth removal, do I need to worry about any complications?
Wisdom teeth surgery, just like any other surgery, can have potential complications. These include:
- Severe pain after the procedure: Once a wisdom tooth is removed, the area will need to heal. Pain after your extractions will be normal for up to two weeks. Most of your healing will take place during this time.
- Infection: Dental infections can be common after your wisdom teeth are removed. As you are healing, bacteria can harbor in those areas leading to a dental infection. These need to be addressed by your treating clinician as soon as possible.
- Bleeding: Excessive bleeding can be seen after wisdom teeth extractions. This needs to be handled by a trained surgery team, as severe bleeding can pose life threatening consequences.
- Numbness: If your nerves are impinged during your wisdom teeth removal, you may be numb for a period of time. Although some cases of numbness last years, most resolve themselves within 6 months.
- Swelling: Severe swelling should be expected after your surgery. The majority of the swelling takes place after days 2-3, and it can be quite an uncomfortable time during your healing process.
What steps should you take to ensure proper healing after wisdom teeth extractions?
The following steps should be taken to properly heal after wisdom teeth removal:
- Take and finish your medications: Your doctor will prescribe you antibiotics and pain medications after your surgery. Make sure you finish your medications, so that complete healing can take place.
- Use an ice pack: Ice packs help reduce swelling during your healing process. Warm compresses work well after the first day of surgery.
- Don’t use a straw: Suctional forces such as straw sucking and smoking can lead to dry socket formation, which may require additional treatment after your wisdom teeth are removed.
- No heavy lifting for one week: Remember not to lift heavy weights after your wisdom teeth are removed for a minimum of one week.
- Keep hydrated: Drink plenty of water, and fluids during your recovery process. This will allow you to heal faster.
- Rinse with warm salt water twice a day: Salt water rinses prevent bacterial growth, and minimize chances of infection after your surgery is completed.
Wisdom teeth removal is necessary procedure for most people at some point in their lives. We hope this article gave you better inside in how these wisdom teeth are removed, and how your surgery team can make a positive impact on your overall oral health. If you have any questions about how wisdom teeth are extracted call our team at Best Dental today.