Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Nearly everyone has heard of someone who needed to have their wisdom teeth pulled out. Although they can emerge at any time, it can be seen as a coming-of-age indicator of adulthood since the third molars erupt for most people when they are in their early twenties. Wisdom teeth can be a rather uncomfortable experience for many people, and the decision on whether or not to extract troublesome teeth may be an easy one to make. Here at Atlantic Dentistry, we know a lot about wisdom teeth, and impacted wisdom tooth removal, which we are happy to share with you.
What Exactly Are Wisdom Teeth?
As far back as the time of Aristotle, wisdom teeth have been known to cause people issues when they finally try to break through the gums. Not everyone will get them, but those who do may get at least one and sometimes even four. The wisdom tooth pushes up against the very back of your mouth where the second molars are. If there is not enough room to erupt, it can cause crowding and tenderness. The soft tissue may become irritated and might even get infected. Your permanent teeth may be at higher risk of decay since the wisdom tooth may close a gap against the molar. This can make it much harder to floss and as such, easier for bacteria to thrive on hard-to-reach food particles that could get trapped there.
How Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?
If it is determined that the best course of action may be to remove your wisdom tooth,especially if it is impacted, it is likely because it is causing significant issues with the rest of your teeth or could become a problem in the future. We will discuss your concerns while we plan your treatment. For pain management, sedation may be recommended.
For those who might be feeling especially anxious before the surgery, you may be given a pill an hour before the procedure which should help you feel relaxed, as well as alleviate discomfort. You could decide you would prefer nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, to help distance yourself from the pain. The most favored option, however, is through IV where the relief is immediate, and you are unlikely to remember anything about the treatment.
To extract the wisdom tooth, an incision is made in the gum where the impacted tooth is. If there is any bone that is blocking the tooth from erupting, it will be removed to allow for easier access. Once the tooth has been removed, the site is cleaned, and the soft tissue is sutured. This might not be necessary if it was a clean extraction that did not require extensive surgery. Gauze will be placed over the area to encourage clotting.
After the extraction, there may be some bleeding, but try to avoid spitting it out as it could dislodge the clot. This can cause a dry socket and can be very uncomfortable. Drink plenty of water after the surgery, but do not use a straw because the sucking action could also potentially remove the blood clot. You can treat pain after the surgery effectively through over-the-counter medicine, but in the instances where any bone was removed such as with an impacted wisdom tooth, you may receive a prescription for something stronger. Avoid tobacco for the first few days after your surgery, as the use of nicotine could delay the healing process.
If have been having issues with your wisdom teeth and they are causing you discomfort, please give us here at Atlantic Dentistry a call at 904 717-0335 so we can schedule an appointment to discuss whether extracting them is a viable option for you.