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Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are one of the 3 molars and it is found as the last tooth. Hence they are also called as third molars in dental terminology. They are found on both the sides of the upper and lower jawbone and hence there are four wisdom teeth in total.

Functions of Wisdom Teeth

It is widely believed that wisdom teeth helped in grinding plant tissues in human ancestors. Their functions have been greatly reduced in modern human beings and therefore they are also referred as a vestigial third molar. It has been reported that some individuals do not have any of the four wisdom teeth at all or they get only few wisdom teeth.

Eruption of Wisdom Teeth

Most of the time, the wisdom teeth or third molars erupt in odd directions and sometimes not seen in the mouth because they have an interruption on their way as they grow in an odd direction. These teeth are called impacted teeth. The impacted wisdom tooth may grow at an angle towards the adjacent tooth, may grow at an angle in the back of the mouth, may grow in a lying down position or may grow straight but be caught within the jawbone not emerging properly. Most of the time, the impaction of wisdom teeth happens only because there is not enough room for an eruption in the jaw area.

Sometimes the eruption of wisdom tooth may be normal and upright not causing any sort of discomfort. Such wisdom teeth are not impacted and they do not require any intervention.

Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Tooth

Usually, when the wisdom tooth fails to come out in the mouth, it would be growing in another direction either hitting the bone or adjacent tooth. When they do so they are very painful. The definitive symptoms of impacted wisdom tooth are

  • Pain
  • Infection
  • Damage to surrounding bone and teeth
  • Development of cyst around the impacted wisdom tooth

Solution to Impacted Wisdom Tooth – Wisdom Tooth Extraction

The only solution to impacted wisdom tooth is extracting the wisdom tooth. The wisdom teeth extraction procedure is an outpatient procedure and does not require any hospitalization. The procedures in wisdom tooth extraction are administering anesthesia and the actual surgery.

Administering Anesthesia for Wisdom Tooth Extraction

The great stride in anesthesia procedure has made tooth extraction a relatively painless and simple procedure. The dentist might either administer a local anesthesia or a sedation anesthesia making a call on a case-to-case basis. While local anesthesia is administered through injections near the surgical area, the sedation anesthesia is administered through an IV in your arm. In local anesthesia, the area where the wisdom tooth is going to be extracted becomes numb while in sedation anesthesia, your consciousness is suppressed and you do not feel any pain.

Surgical Procedures in Wisdom Tooth Extraction

An incision is made in the gum which covers partially or fully the wisdom tooth that needs to be removed. The incision is made in such a way that the impacted wisdom tooth and the bone is exposed. If any bone blocks access to the impacted wisdom tooth, then that is also removed. The dentist proceeds to then remove the impacted wisdom tooth wholly. Sometimes the dentist might decide to break the tooth into sections for easier removal and accordingly do so. After the impacted wisdom tooth is removed, the dentist proceeds to clean the site thoroughly as the site might be infected already in most cases. The dentist then proceeds to stitch the surgical area and close the wound. After that, a gauze is placed on top of the wound to prevent further bleeding. The gauze also helps in the formation of a blood clot which is necessary for bleeding control and wound healing.

After Wisdom Tooth Extraction Procedure

If you are given a sedation anesthesia, it is better that you are accompanied by someone who is available to take you home. If you are administered only a local anesthesia, you may be on your own.

After the surgical extraction of wisdom tooth, the dentist would give you a set of dos and don’ts that would include what food and beverages to take, how to manage pain, how to clean and keep your oral region clean, etc. The dentist would provide you with necessary medications and you may be required to take them diligently for the prescribed days. It should be noted that swelling of the extracted area is normal and the same would begin to subside in a day or two.

You may have to visit the dentist if the swelling worsens in two or three days, or if your pain does not abate despite taking painkillers as prescribed. You may also require visiting the dentist immediately if the following conditions appear.

  • Fever
  • Pus coming out from the surgical wound area
  • Numbness or a loss of sensation in the wisdom tooth extracted area

Follow-up Dental Visit after Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Generally, if you do not develop any complications, a follow up dental visit is not required. But as a matter of fact, at Expert Dental Care, we recommend that you do at least a single follow-up after a week of removing your impacted wisdom tooth. This is required to rule-out any complications and the risks that are associated with impacted wisdom tooth extraction.

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