Wisdom teeth removal is an increasingly popular dental procedure for those suffering from impacted or partially impacted wisdom molars, which often cause overcrowding and misalignment, leading to discomfort, infection, and possible damage to other teeth.
Starting with local anesthesia or sedation, the procedure entails loosening up gum tissue to loosen and extract teeth, then suturing and covering it with gauze to control bleeding and promote healing.
Impacted or partially impacted teeth
As your teeth come in, they can sometimes become trapped or impacted in gum tissue or jaw bone for various reasons. Your mouth could be overcrowded with too few spaces for wisdom teeth to emerge properly, or they could come in at an angle or change position as they try to appear; genetics could even play a part in how wisdom teeth develop.
An impacted wisdom tooth can create issues in your mouth. It may cause overcrowding and push other teeth out of alignment, necessitating orthodontic care for correction. Impacted teeth may also be vulnerable to dental decay as brushing, and flossing cannot reach them effectively enough, leaving the risk for dental decay unchecked; untreated, impacted wisdom teeth could even result in cysts or tumors developing around them.
To avoid serious complications, it is best to have your impacted teeth extracted early in development. Luckily, this procedure should not cause pain as your wisdom teeth will be numb; alternatively, it can be performed under local anesthesia, sedation, or general anesthesia for added peace of mind.
The first step to extracting a buried wisdom tooth is taking 3D scans of your mouth and discussing its type and degree of impaction with your dentist. This will enable you to understand all available treatment options. There are three kinds of impaction: soft tissue impaction (when teeth have come through gum only but haven’t reached the jawbone), partial bone impaction, and complete bone impaction; the last category most frequently affects soft tissue impaction cases (see definition above).
Partial bone impaction occurs when only part of your wisdom tooth has emerged from beneath its gums yet still impinges on the jaw bone. While less severe than complete bone impaction, you may still experience pain or other symptoms from such an impaction.
To remove a partially erupted wisdom tooth, your dentist must cut away the gum tissue that covers it before using a drill to break apart its impact, making extraction more straightforward. Suppose you are experiencing any trouble with a partially erupted wisdom tooth. In that case, it must be extracted quickly by visiting an oral surgeon to avoid future issues with their presence.
Impacted or partially erupted teeth
Dental professionals typically recommend wisdom tooth removal to protect the overall dental well-being of their patients. Wisdom teeth can often cause issues when they lack sufficient room to erupt, leading to painful dental problems and wisdom tooth extraction. Therefore, visiting an experienced Albany oral surgeon early to make this decision is often best.
Even though most people attain wisdom teeth during late adolescence and early adulthood, these third molars can sometimes cause issues due to insufficient jaw space to emerge fully. If left untreated, wisdom teeth could become trapped under gum tissues or the jawbone or appear at an improper angle and crowd other teeth, resulting in misalignments of bite or even impaction (trapped within gum tissues or jaw), leaving crowding as an undesirable result.
If a wisdom tooth becomes impacted, it may cause pain and swelling around the gums and jawbone, known as pericoronitis, leading to damage to both teeth and bone structures underneath. Furthermore, an impacted wisdom tooth can trap food debris inside its soft tissues, leading to bad breath and decay.
There are various forms of impacted teeth, and your dentist can quickly identify which type you have through an exam or X-rays. Mesial impactions are the most prevalent type, which involves partially or fully erupted wisdom teeth positioned toward the front of your mouth; distal impactors, on the other hand, are typically set more to the rear towards your throat.
When visiting an experienced oral surgeon to address an impacted tooth, the procedure typically starts by flushing out the surrounding area to clear away debris. This procedure is known as flap surgery, and dental professionals usually perform it using local anesthesia for maximum comfort.
Once they’ve undergone the procedure, patients must consume soft foods and drink plenty of fluids until their gums heal completely. Once healed, they can gradually return to a regular eating routine while wary of hard and crunchy foods that could scrape or damage gum tissue. It’s also wise to arrange a follow-up visit with your dentist to ensure complete and successful healing.
Impacted or fully erupted teeth.
When wisdom teeth don’t have enough room to erupt properly, they may become impacted, causing discomfort, infection, and damage to surrounding teeth. Regular exams will help detect this early and address it effectively.
Oral cavities contain over 700 species of bacteria. When an impacting wisdom tooth occurs, these bacteria can enter the gums and lead to infections that impact nearby teeth and bone, potentially necessitating orthodontic treatment to correct. In severe cases, infections may spread throughout our facial structures, including bones and tissues in our jaws and face.
Impacted wisdom teeth can contribute to overcrowding, leading to the shifting of other teeth and possible damage and decay to the remaining ones. If left untreated, these influenced wisdom teeth could also contribute to periodontal disease; their brutal nature makes cleaning them more complex than usual, trapping food debris beneath gum flaps known as operculum and potentially leading to pericoronitis or an inflammation condition where gum tissue becomes inflamed and swollen.
Your dentist or oral surgeon may suggest additional measures, such as using an oral irrigator to clean and reduce bacteria levels in the area, taking over-the-counter pain medications, and possibly prescribing antibiotics if a severe infection exists.
Extracting your wisdom teeth should be straightforward if they have not become infected. An anesthesiologist will administer local anesthesia or nitrous oxide (“happy gas”) to ensure comfort. Once under anesthesia, they will carefully extract them with minimal discomfort for effective healing.
After surgery, you must eat soft foods slowly and gradually return to your regular eating habits. Hard or crunchy foods can irritate gum tissues healing post-surgery. In addition, schedule a follow-up visit with your oral surgeon so they can assess if everything is healing well and provide instructions to manage pain and swelling effectively.
Preparing for the procedure
Wisdom tooth extraction has become an almost necessary part of growing up for many teens and young adults to prevent future issues with decayed or infected wisdom teeth like dental decay and gum disease.
If your wisdom teeth have fully emerged, they’re relatively straightforward to extract with dental tools. But if they haven’t or they grow in at an odd angle, surgery will likely be required to remove them. A dentist or oral surgeon will use local anesthesia or possibly sedation during tooth removal so you’re comfortable throughout the procedure; then, cut open gum tissue around each tooth to access its actual location and any bone or muscle covering it. Once they can see where this tooth lies, they’ll use dental tools for removal.
Once surgery has concluded, you should return home and wait until the effects of anesthesia and sedation have worn off before driving yourself home or having someone take you there. After arriving home safely, a friend or family member should guide you as you will unlikely feel alert enough. A modified diet consisting of soft foods should be maintained to avoid irritating extraction sites, while specific postoperative guidelines will assist in managing pain, swelling, and bleeding.
Consequences of wisdom teeth removal can include heavy bleeding and damage to other healthy molars. This problem often arises when wisdom teeth haven’t fully emerged or grown in at an unusual angle, sinus issues, cysts in jaw bones, or repeated infections caused by food debris trapped between impacted wisdom teeth and gum tissue.
To reduce risks following surgery, you must avoid drinking carbonated beverages and any drinks containing alcohol for five days after your procedure, as these can dislodge blood clots and expose sites for infection. Furthermore, avoid hard, crunchy, or chewy foods that could irritate extraction sites; gradually introduce solid foods into your daily schedule and start adding reliable food options.