Not everyone gets wisdom teeth, but those that do often need to have them removed. Wisdom teeth can create problems when they begin to emerge, which can occur any time but often happens to those in their late teens or early twenties. As the teeth try to emerge from the gum, they can cause pain and may crowd out your other teeth. This is not only painful; the misalignment that occurs could create more serious issues. The removal procedure can be performed by your dentist or an oral surgeon, and you are not likely to feel a thing during the procedure. While the below described surgical procedure can seem scary, it's among the oldest and most commonly performed of all dental procedures. Read on to find out what to expect from your wisdom tooth extraction.
Discuss Anesthesia Choices With Your Dentist
There are several options for eliminating pain and discomfort during this procedure. Among the usual choices are:
- Relaxation sedatives like Valium along with a local numbing injection
- Nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
- Intravenous (IV) sedation
The Procedure Begins
Even though you won't be aware of it, the below steps will be taken by your dentist when removing your wisdom tooth:
- The anesthesia is administered and any numbing of the local area is accomplished.
- The next step depends on whether or not the wisdom tooth has emerged or whether it is impacted (still under the surface of the gum). If the tooth is still in the bone, a drill is used to access the tooth after any gum tissue covering it has been removed with a sharp and tiny scalpel.
- The wisdom tooth is removed by using a series of gentle movements to loosen the tooth. In some cases, the dentist must use the drill to remove sections of the tooth to allow more loosening. A sectioned tooth is easier to remove than a broken tooth, so breaking it up can help make the process more effective.
- In some cases, once the entire wisdom tooth has been removed, a few tiny stitches are made on the gum.
- As you recover from the anesthesia, you may be asked to bite gently down on some gauze. This helps with any bleeding from the incision.
- Finally, your dentist will provide you with some instructions for caring for the incision and a prescription for antibiotics and pain relief.
To find out more, speak to the dentist a local clinic like Pfeiffer Family Dentistry.