These four teeth usually appear between the ages of 15 and 25. If a mouth does not have enough space for these teeth, they can become impacted. Untreated, impacted wisdom teeth can damage other teeth, cause pain, and lead to oral health concerns.
Wisdom tooth extraction is a common procedure. Your oral surgeon will consult with you before the surgery to discuss your situation and reasons for needing an extraction. At Waterloo West Dentistry, we can provide sedation for your complete comfort. We also use local anesthesia, so you do not feel any pain.
In some cases, where the tooth has fully erupted, a simple extraction is possible, where the tooth is pulled with forceps. The extracted tooth may be removed as a whole, or broken into pieces for easier removal. Often, however, wisdom teeth are impacted, requiring a more complicated procedure.
A blood clot will form in the empty socket. The oral surgeon will place a gauze pad over it and have you bite down on it to stop the bleeding. You may be given stitches or sutures to close the wound. Some bleeding is normal and will eventually stop. Swelling is also common soon after tooth removal. A cold compress or ice pack for the first 24 hours will help.
There will be some pain and discomfort which can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication. If you have severe pain after three days, contact your oral surgeon. Practice good oral hygiene and take prescribed antibiotics to avoid infection. A dry socket can occur when the blood clot that forms in the empty socket is dislodged, causing severe pain, swelling, and bad breath. Very rarely, the nerve running through the jawbone can be injured during tooth extraction, causing numbness or tingling. Your dentist or oral surgeon will provide you with full postoperative care instructions after your procedure to prevent issues.
Although wisdom teeth are not troubling you now, they may in future, so a tooth extraction may be done preventatively. Your dentist can predict future concerns based on the positioning of your teeth. Earlier extraction is better - the surgery is easier, safer, and more predictable, with faster healing.
Impacted wisdom tooth extractions can prevent several serious concerns. Your second molars, which are adjacent to your wisdom teeth, can be damaged by impacted wisdom teeth. These teeth can have more wearing, cavities, potential bone loss, and gum disease if the impacted wisdom teeth are not removed. Cysts and tumours are extremely rare but can occur around impacted wisdom teeth. An impacted wisdom tooth is at much higher risk of infection and decay, because it is so difficult to clean sufficiently; the infection can spread to other teeth, too. Wisdom teeth that are impacted may also put pressure on other teeth, causing misalignment and crowding.