Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Wisdom teeth, also known as your third molars, are the final set of permanent teeth that grow in the upper and lower back corners of your mouth. Typically coming in between the ages of 17 and 25 years, wisdom teeth can often be cause for discomfort or have a negative impact on your overall oral health. While some patients may have the space for incoming wisdom teeth and healthy wisdom tooth growth, many others will require wisdom tooth extraction to preserve the health and structure of the surrounding teeth and gums. If your incoming wisdom tooth growth is determined problematic by your dental team, it’s important to schedule removal before symptoms progress.
When is Wisdom Tooth Extraction Necessary?
As the last set of teeth to erupt, it is not uncommon for wisdom teeth to face the challenge of fitting into an already crowded area. If your dentist determines that these third molars do not have ample space to come in, or are coming in misaligned, extraction will be considered as a preventative step to protect your existing teeth. Another common concern is an impacted wisdom tooth. In this case, a portion or all of your tooth may be trapped inside your jawbone. A wisdom tooth that is growing improperly can lead to a myriad of problems, including damage to the roots of your second molars, the potential for the buildup of bacteria and debris, and gum inflammation.
Common Concerns for Wisdom Tooth Extraction:
Overcrowding — When there is not enough space for your wisdom teeth to come in, their growth may disrupt the positioning of other teeth. If not removed, the incoming tooth could cause damage to the roots of surrounding teeth, or cause inflammation in the adjacent gums. Left untreated, this could lead to further complications like periodontal (gum) disease.
Misalignment — In many patients, a wisdom tooth growing in the wrong direction is a cause for concern. A misaligned wisdom tooth may be growing towards the back of the mouth, towards the second molars, or at a ninety-degree angle. If this occurs, the tooth may grow into the roots or surface of the second molars, causing an erosion cavity. A misaligned tooth may also be responsible for trapped bacteria and food debris, leading to excessive buildup, infection, and eventual tooth decay.
Impacted Wisdom Tooth — A wisdom tooth may also be partially or fully impacted. When this occurs, either a portion or all of the third molar is trapped in the jawbone. A tooth that is completely enclosed or only partially erupted can lead to a myriad of symptoms, including pain, swelling, or cysts. Left untreated, the impacted wisdom tooth can lead to decay, gum disease, and decreased oral health.
Symptoms of Wisdom Tooth Complication:
- Bleeding gums
- Swelling of the surrounding gums
- Development of fluid-filled sacs, otherwise known as cysts
- Partially erupted tooth
Wisdom Tooth Extraction Procedure
Wisdom tooth extraction is one of the most common oral surgery procedures and can be performed at our Champions Dental office as an outpatient procedure. Each procedure will be individualized to the patient, taking into account the specifics of their wisdom tooth growth, including root development and tooth positioning. Having said that, each patient can expect to begin the process of extraction with a thorough consultation that allows our dental team to discuss the details of your procedure and options for anesthesia. If extraction is recommended, it’s important to schedule the procedure as soon as possible to minimize the complications that come with improper tooth position or fully-developed roots.
Anesthesia or Sedation — The extraction procedure will begin with a local anesthetic, general anesthetic, or IV sedation. With a local anesthetic, a numbing solution will be injected into the area surrounding the extraction. For more complicated surgical extractions, a general anesthetic or intravenous sedation may be given.
Extraction —After the anesthesia has been administered and the treatment area prepped, your dentist will begin the extraction of your wisdom tooth. Depending on the specifications of the tooth being treated, including positioning or whether or not the tooth is impacted, the procedure may involve widening the socket, removing any obstructing gum tissue, or cutting the tooth into smaller pieces before removal. Once the tooth has been extracted and the socket cleaned of all debris, your dentist will suture the area to minimize bleeding and speed up the healing process.
Healing and Follow-Up — Following the procedure, your dental team will provide you with post-op instructions that will help you through the recovery process. A follow-up appointment to monitor your healing may also be scheduled.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction at Champions Dental
At Champions Dental, we recognize the important role a healthy smile plays in your overall health and confidence. This has driven our commitment to offer an unmatched level of comfort and individualized treatment plans that take care of your dental needs. With more than 15 years of experience and dedication to honing our expertise, we offer premier dental services and advanced treatment techniques that will optimize your oral health and keep your smile looking its best.
Visit our team at Champions Dental today to discuss your options for wisdom tooth extraction or call to schedule your next oral health check-up appointment. Your beautiful smile awaits!
Frequently Asked Questions
While some patients experience healthy wisdom teeth growth, many patients will experience wisdom-tooth-related complications that lead to your dentist’s recommendation for removal. Because these teeth are the final set of permanent molars to come in, they often grow in the wrong direction due to the lack of space in the dental arch. Overcrowding and lack of adequate space for healthy growth is a common cause for removal.
A variety of anesthetic options make the tooth extraction procedure as pain-free as possible. Before the appointment, our Champions Dental team will discuss your options for sedation and help you determine which method — either local anesthesia, general anesthesia, or IV sedation — is best for you. After the procedure, we’ll provide you with post-op guidelines that will make your recovery as smooth and as comfortable as possible.
Common symptoms of wisdom tooth complications include pain in the jaw, inflammation in the gums, tenderness, the appearance of an abscess or infection, or parts of the tooth poking through the gum tissue. Any one or a combination of these symptoms may be a sign that your wisdom tooth is growing improperly. Having said that, some patients may not experience any of these symptoms for quite some time. It’s important to continue with regular visits to your dentist to monitor wisdom tooth growth and overall oral health.
- If your wisdom tooth is impacted (either partially or completely trapped in the jawbone) or growing in the wrong direction, a variety of dental problems can occur if left untreated. These problems include disruption in the positioning of your adjacent teeth, teeth-crowding, infection, cysts, tooth decay, or periodontal disease.
The cost of your procedure will depend on several factors, including type of anesthesia, complexity of the procedure, and coverage offered by your dental insurance provider. To determine the cost of extraction, call our Champions Dental office or schedule a consultation to discuss your wisdom tooth extraction options.
Recovery time is unique to each patient and the specifics of their tooth extraction procedure. For more complex extractions, greater recovery time may be necessary. Typically, patients can expect 7-10 days. After your procedure, our dental team will provide you with guidelines to support your recovery and healing. This will include how to brush and/or clean the area, what foods are okay to consume, and what lifestyle activities should be avoided.