Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last teeth to erupt, typically between the ages of 17 and 21. Unfortunately, not everyone has enough room in their mouth to accommodate them. Oral surgeons perform wisdom tooth removal when these molars come through in the wrong position and become impacted.
Why Might I Need Wisdom Tooth Removal?
Removal isn’t necessary for all wisdom teeth. If they erupt normally and don’t affect the adjacent tooth, they can remain without incident. However, if they erupt at an awkward angle, they can compromise the nearest tooth and overall alignment. A dentist can see the position of the wisdom teeth through an orthopantomogram x-ray and will recommend removal of poorly positioned molars.
Some patients require wisdom tooth removal because their jaw isn’t big enough to accommodate them. They may cause pressure in the mouth, leading to headaches, tooth pain, and jaw discomfort. Other complications that can arise if wisdom teeth aren’t removed include abscesses, gum disease, and cysts.
How Wisdom Teeth Are Removed
If your dentist has determined your wisdom teeth will become impacted or affect orthodontic work, they will refer you to an oral surgeon. The surgeon will first apply local anesthesia to the teeth and surrounding tissues so you don’t feel any discomfort. If you prefer not to be lucid during the procedure, you can opt for sedation or general anesthesia.
The surgeon will then use a scalpel and other surgical instruments to remove tissue and bone surrounding the wisdom teeth. Once that is complete, they will loosen the teeth with extraction instruments. Although you may feel some pressure, you shouldn’t experience any pain. When the teeth are loose enough, the surgeon will remove them with dental forceps and stitch up the incision.
If you require wisdom tooth removal, consult with an oral surgeon. Dennis S. Gianoli DDS, PC in Berlin, CT, has more than 30 years of experience and offers procedures ranging from wisdom teeth extractions to dental implants. He carefully explains each surgery to his patients and stays up to date with the latest treatments in the field. For more information, call (860) 828-3559 or visit his website.