Wisdom Teeth Removal FAQs
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are your third set of molars. They usually emerge around your late teens to early 20s. That’s why they are called wisdom teeth because they arrive at a time when you might have earned some knowledge about the world around you.
Some men and women have wisdom teeth that are correctly aligned and come in with no problems. However, more often than not, these teeth don’t have enough space for emerging correctly. Because of that, they end up growing in misaligned.
When do you need to remove your wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth removal may be needed to open up a crowding problem. It’s not uncommon for wisdom teeth to come in at an angle or even be horizontally aligned. That can place undue pressure on your nearby teeth and potentially cause damage.
In other cases, wisdom teeth develop but never emerge through your gum tissue. This condition is called impaction. Suppose they are only partially impacted and begin to emerge. In that case, they can allow bacteria to enter your gums and create an infection and other future problems.
How are wisdom teeth removed?
The team at WisNova Institute of Dental Specialists has access to the latest digital imaging technology. They can determine the exact location of your wisdom teeth before charting out a treatment plan. There are also highly skilled sedation experts on staff to ensure you get the proper local anesthetic for your procedure.
Suppose your teeth are not fully erupted through your gum tissue. In that case, you may need wisdom teeth removal through a simple surgical procedure. Once the gums are removed from a portion of the tooth, the dentist can use forceps to loosen and remove it.
Should healthy wisdom teeth be removed?
Even if they seem healthy, you should still consider wisdom teeth removal to avoid future dental issues. They can reposition at any time in the gums, quickly leading to impaction and possibly infection.
Also, they are harder to reach because they sit very far back in the jaw. Typically they don’t get brushed and flossed correctly and tend to develop cavities faster than other teeth.
Few patients look forward to oral surgery, but there is nothing to fear. You are provided general anesthesia and won’t feel a thing. Making preparations early and having ice packs and soft foods ready to go will help you completely heal and improve oral health long term.
What is an impacted wisdom tooth?
Even if you have wisdom teeth below the gumline, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will emerge. We will take X-rays to see whether they need to be removed. The main reason for wisdom teeth extraction is the positioning beneath the gum line.
If they fail to erupt into the mouth, they either lie sideways or cannot emerge due to a lack of space. The clinical term used is an impacted wisdom tooth. Most cases of tooth extraction are due to impaction.
Impacted wisdom teeth can be painful and quickly become infected. Signs of infection include:
- Painful, swollen gum tissue
- Discharge and bleeding
- Bad breath
- Swollen lymph nodes and low-grade fever
- Painful chewing
Wisdom teeth must be removed if they become infected because they can cause damage to other teeth. Extracting impacted teeth while there is an infection can cause it to spread into other areas of the body.
Sometimes a dentigerous cyst develops in the jaw bone or soft tissue over the top of an impacted tooth. It is a fluid-filled sac that is generally painless and usually benign; however, it can cause damage to other teeth if they continue growing.
In this case, our doctors will prescribe antibiotics before your oral surgery appointment. We recommend removing impacted wisdom teeth, as ignoring them may cause more serious oral infections.
How do you remove an impacted wisdom tooth?
If your wisdom teeth are impacted, the process involves giving you the proper type of anesthesia and opening your gums to access the tooth. It may be necessary to break it into smaller pieces to remove the tooth. Next, the site is cleaned of debris before the area is sutured closed. A gauze dressing is placed over the site to reduce bleeding and facilitate blood clot formation.