Wisdom teeth are the final set of molars that typically appear during the late teens or early twenties. When these third molars are healthy and aligned properly, they can be an asset. However, they usually must be removed due to misalignment or other issues. A dentist or oral surgeon is skilled in the proper extraction of wisdom teeth, making the process as simple and painless as possible.
Misalignment of wisdom teeth takes several forms. The teeth may be positioned horizontally, may be angled either outward or inward, or angled away or toward the second molars, or. Any misalignment can crowd or create damage to adjacent nerves, teeth, or the jawbone. To prevent jaw problems, gum infections, and shifting of adjacent teeth, misaligned wisdom teeth should be removed.
Wisdom teeth can experience other problems including being impacted. This occurs when the teeth remain enclosed within the jawbone or soft tissue, break through partially, or erupt through the gums. When they only partially erupt, an opening is created for bacteria to enter and create an infection that can lead to swelling, pain, a stiff jaw, and possibly, illness. A partially erupted wisdom tooth is also more susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay due to its positioning and location.
Wisdom tooth extraction can take place in the office of the dentist or oral surgeon. A local anesthetic is applied to numb the area around the wisdom tooth. If multiple wisdom teeth must be removed, a general anesthetic may be administered that prevents pain throughout the body and may induce sleep. The dentist or surgeon then opens the gum tissue located over the wisdom tooth and removes all bone covering the tooth.
Tissue that connects the wisdom tooth to the bone is separated and the tooth is removed. It may be necessary to cut the tooth into small pieces to make removal easier. Stitches may be required and will either dissolve or require professional removal within a few days. To prevent excessive bleeding, a gauze pad is typically placed over the surgery area.
Within one or two weeks, patients should fully recover from surgical extraction of their teeth. The outpatient surgery is fast, convenient, and prevents jaw and dental issues, relieves pain, and improves mouth hygiene for patients with misaligned or impacted wisdom teeth. Anesthetic ensures that the process is as painless as possible and this surgery effectively addresses a variety of potential mouth and gum issues.