Wisdom Teeth Extraction in Gainesville, VA
Wisdom teeth are the last four teeth at the back of your mouth — two on the top and a matching pair on the bottom. They usually appear around age 20 and can be superfluous. Depending on how they grow in and if your mouth has room for them, you may not even notice they’re there.
Having your wisdom teeth removed is a routine procedure. Wisdom teeth can become a problem when they first grow in or later in life. Often, they contribute to overcrowding, which needs to be resolved before other orthodontic work can be done.
Should Wisdom Teeth Always Be Removed?
Your third molars, or wisdom teeth, are a natural part of your set of teeth. Wisdom teeth get a bad reputation, but there’s nothing inherently sinister about them. As long as they grow in properly and perform well, they’re simply an enhancement to your bite.
Almost 85% of adults require wisdom teeth extraction, but this doesn’t mean it will happen to you. Your wisdom teeth need to be assessed by a dentist to determine if they’re causing a problem in your mouth. The two most common problems wisdom teeth cause are:
- Impaction: When a wisdom tooth can’t grow through the surface of the gums, it can cause serious problems. The tooth may be angled toward the other teeth instead of in the direction of the gum surface. Or, something may stop the tooth from growing through the jaw bone and the gum tissue and appearing in your mouth.
- Overcrowding: Many people find they don’t have space in their mouths for their wisdom teeth. By the time the wisdom teeth grow in, the other teeth have spread out and taken up all the room. This may result in impacted wisdom teeth, ones that can’t grow through the jaw bone or gum surface. The overcrowding could also cause teeth to twist and move, creating an uneven bite.
These problems can often be overcome and the wisdom teeth saved. Secondary issues like cysts and tumors may develop — however, that would warrant extraction. Wisdom teeth growing toward the roots of other teeth can destabilize the surrounding teeth, which is a good reason to remove them.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
The procedure for wisdom teeth removal depends on the position of the teeth and how many are coming out. Removing all four wisdom teeth from a bony impaction is a larger operation than simply pulling out one that’s only partially visible above the gum line. Most wisdom teeth removals take place in the office.
Regardless of your specific wisdom teeth situation, the process will follow these steps:
- Preparation: If there’s an infection, it needs to be cleared up before the extraction. You may need to take antibiotics for several days before the orthodontist can remove your wisdom teeth. The mouth is a rather small space, so even if the infection isn’t in the tooth scheduled to be removed, it must be resolved. Infections are usually a larger concern for older patients.
- Anesthesia: Wisdom tooth removal requires at least a local anesthesia, sometimes a general. Your oral surgeon will discuss options with you based on your situation. In addition to considering how complex the extraction will be, the surgeon will also factor in your age, relative health and tolerance for dental procedures when making a recommendation.
- Surgery: Your oral surgeon will begin by cutting through the gum tissue that’s over your tooth. The surgeon will take out any bone and connective tissue over the tooth, as well. If the tooth is particularly large or entangled in bone and tissue, your surgeon may break the tooth into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove.
- Stitches: Most wisdom teeth extractions require one or two stitches to close up the gums and help them heal. The gum tissue is stitched together over the hole where the tooth used to be. In time, the bone will grow back and soft tissue will fill the space left by the extraction. With the gum tissue stitched closed, the space where the tooth was removed will not be visible.
- Recovery: You’ll typically have to recovery for two to three days after your wisdom tooth removal. You’ll be a little sore and will want to eat a modified diet of soft and liquid foods. After that, you can resume your normal schedule of activities without wisdom teeth pain.
If you think your wisdom teeth need to be removed, contact Gosmiles Gainesville for a free consultation.