Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Third molars, commonly referred to as wisdom teeth, are usually the last four of 32 teeth to erupt in the mouth, making their appearance between the ages of 17 to 25. Commonly, inadequate space in the mouth does not allow the wisdom teeth to erupt properly.
Due to this situation, they become impacted in an undesirable position which can be potentially harmful. If left untreated, wisdom teeth can be the cause of infection, damage other teeth and contribute to the development of cysts and tumors.
Types of Teeth Impaction
Soft Tissue Impaction: The crown of the tooth has penetrated through the bone, but the gingiva (gum) is covering part or all of the tooth’s crown and has not positioned properly around the tooth. Because it is difficult to keep the area clean, food can become trapped below the gum and cause an infection and/or tooth decay, resulting in pain and swelling.
Partial Bony Impaction: The tooth has partially erupted, but a portion of the crown remains submerged below the gum and surrounding jawbone. Again, infection will commonly occur.
Complete Bony Impaction: The tooth is completely encased by jawbone. This will require more complex removal techniques.
Reasons to remove wisdom teeth
Not all wisdom teeth require removal. Wisdom teeth extractions are most often performed because of an active problem such as pain, swelling, decay or infection, or as a preventative measure to avoid serious problems in the future. If impaction of one or more wisdom teeth is present, and left untreated, a number of potentially harmful outcomes can occur, including:
Damage to nearby teeth: Second molars can be affected by impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in tooth decay , periodontal disease and possible bone loss.
Disease: Although it is not very common, cysts and tumors can occur in the areas surrounding impacted wisdom teeth.
Infection: Bacteria and food can become trapped under the gum tissue, resulting in an infection.
Tooth Crowding: It has been theorized that impacted wisdom teeth can put pressure on other teeth and cause them to become misaligned.
Wisdom Teeth Examination
Just like in any dental procedure, your dentist will initially conduct examination of the wisdom and all the surrounding teeth. Panoramic and digital X rays are necessary in order for your dentist to evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and determine if there is a problem or likelihood of any potential problems.
Early evaluation and treatment is recommended in order to identify potential problems and to improve the results for patients requiring wisdom teeth extractions. Only after a thorough examination can your dentist provide you with the best options for your particular case.
What Does the Extraction of Wisdom Teeth Involve?
Wisdom teeth extraction is a common procedure, performed under local anesthesia or general anesthesia by a specially trained dentist in an office surgery suite. The surgery does not require an overnight stay, and you will be released with post-operative instructions and medication.
If you experience any problems associated with wisdom teeth or have any questions, please contact our dental office for the examination and consultation appointment.