Many people have a high level of fear and anxiety when it comes to the dentist. Mix in the word “surgery”, and that level of dread goes up ten-fold. But is wisdom teeth removal surgery safe? Are there any risks or complications that can arise from their removal? After there any concerns that you should have prior to your surgery? In this article we will tackle these questions along with other lingering concerns when it comes to wisdom teeth removal.
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are your last molars that erupt in your mouth. Also known as third molars, they are the teeth that the majority of teenagers have removed in the early adult life. Not all wisdom teeth erupt. Some remain embedded within your jaw bone and are known as impacted wisdom teeth. These impactions can lead to a myriad of dental health issues including cyst formations, adjacent tooth cavities, swelling, and potential systemic infections. Some patients may even be hospitalized due to infected wisdom teeth. These third molars, since they are the last teeth to normally erupt, are affectionately known as “wisdom teeth.” Some wisdom teeth may erupt in a vertical manner while others can erupt horizontally. The direction of their eruption has been closely linked to teeth crowding issues that some patients may have.
What problems and complications can wisdom teeth pose?
The following is list of complications arising from wisdom teeth.
- Cyst formation
- Teeth crowding
- Adjacent tooth damage and caries
- Bad breath
- Severe pain sometimes radiating to the ears
- Trismus (difficulty opening your mouth)
Do I have to be sedated during my wisdom teeth removal surgery?
The majority of patients are sedated with anesthesia during their surgery. A mixture of different medications is usually given through an IV line to help put you to sleep during your surgery. There are risks with this form of sedation dentistry. The #1 risk factor is airway inhibition during the course of the wisdom teeth extraction process. Some of the medications given can lead to airway inhibition, and because of this, your airway will need to be monitored carefully during the procedure.
You do not have to be sedated to have your wisdom teeth removed. Many patients are just numbed with a local anesthetic like Lidocaine, and their dentist or oral surgeon removes their wisdom teeth. But if you have high anxiety levels, you will more than likely be required to be sedated for your procedure.
What are risks and complications to wisdom teeth removal surgery?
There are a number of risk factors that are involved with wisdom teeth removal surgeries. Here is a list of them:
- Airway inhibition: As mentioned, a mixture of sedative agents can block your airway during your procedure.
- Bleeding: Excessive bleeding can be seen after your wisdom teeth are removed. Although rare, if this takes place you will need to see you clinician to have them halt the bleeding.
- Numbness: If your wisdom teeth are close to a nerve in your jawbones, there is a chance that nerve can become damaged during the extraction process. Most cases end up leading to numbness in the area where the tooth was removed. This paresthesia may be temporary or permanent.
- Jaw fracture: This is an extremely rare risk of wisdom teeth surgery, but there have been documented cases of this happening during the wisdom teeth removal process.
Do I have to get my wisdom teeth removed?
The answer to this question will ultimately be up to what your clinician decides. Some wisdom teeth can remain functional if they have erupted properly, but the majority of wisdom teeth will more than likely have to be removed at some point due to this complications that can arise if they are left in. Speak with your doctor about your wisdom teeth, and see what he or she recommends. A trusted and honest professional can give you honest advice that can improve your health and save you money down the road.
Are wisdom teeth expensive to remove?
Wisdom teeth surgery can be an expensive proposition, especially if you do not have dental insurance. The cost of wisdom teeth removal can range from $1,800-$4,000 with most local oral surgeons. If you are needing your wisdom teeth removed, and are needing an affordable option, contact our team at Best Dental today. We hope to hear from you soon!