The extraction of wisdom teeth is a surgical procedure that entails the removal of one or more of the four molars located at the back of the mouth. These teeth usually grow in the pre-adult years or early twenties. They are considered the final set of molars to develop.
Wisdom teeth do not affect most people. However, some people may experience inconvenience or even pain requiring extraction. This article will discuss everything you need about wisdom teeth extraction or surgery, including why it’s necessary and what to expect during the procedure.
Why Wisdom Tooth Extraction is Necessary
When wisdom teeth do not have enough space for emerging correctly, they may cause problems such as impaction, infection, and overcrowding.
One of the primary reasons for wisdom tooth extraction is impaction. An impacted wisdom tooth occurs when it cannot fully emerge from the gums, causing pain, swelling, and infection. Impaction can also lead to the formation of cysts or tumours around the impacted teeth, which can cause further complications. In severe cases, impacted wisdom teeth may damage adjacent teeth and bones.
Overcrowding is another reason why dentists may opt for wisdom tooth extraction. If the patient has a complete set of teeth, wisdom teeth might overcrowd the mouth, causing teeth misalignment and other health problems. If this is the case, then extraction might be necessary.
Wisdom tooth extraction may also be necessary in cases where the teeth are decayed, infected, or causing pain. In such cases, extraction may be ideal for alleviating pain and preventing further damage to the adjacent teeth and gums.
Finally, wisdom tooth extraction may be recommended as a preventive measure, even if there are no current issues with the teeth. This is because it is challenging to clean them correctly, accumulating bacteria and food particles and eventually leading to decay, infection, and other oral problems.
Wisdom tooth extraction is necessary in cases where the wisdom teeth are causing impaction, overcrowding, decay, infection, pain, or other dental and health problems. While the procedure may seem daunting, it is generally considered safe and relatively straightforward and can help prevent further complications and ensure optimal oral health. If you are experiencing issues with your wisdom teeth, consult your dentist to determine if a wisdom tooth extraction is necessary.
The Wisdom Tooth Surgery Procedure
Oral surgeons or dentists usually perform the wisdom tooth extraction procedure in their office or a surgical centre. Depending on the patient’s preferences and the case’s complexity, they may perform the procedure with local anesthesia, sedation, or general anesthesia. The dentist will thoroughly examine the teeth and gums and may take X-rays to determine the position of newly formed molars and the ideal approach for extraction.
The Surgical Procedure
The extraction process involves a surgical cut in the gum tissue to expose the tooth and bone, removing any bone blocking the tooth, and then gently wiggling the tooth back and forth until it loosens from the socket and can be lifted out. Sometimes, the tooth must be divided into smaller pieces to facilitate removal.
After extracting the wisdom tooth, the dentist will clean the debris and other particles from the extraction area. Depending on the case, the dentist or oral surgeon may place stitches to close the incision and promote healing. A gauze may also be placed over the extraction site to control bleeding and encourage clotting.
After the procedure, the dentist will give instructions on post-operative care. These instructions will include information on pain management, diet restrictions, and oral hygiene. Patients may experience swelling, pain, and bleeding in the first few days following the procedure. Still, these symptoms can typically be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers and proper care.
In most cases, patients can expect to return to normal activities within a few days to a week following the procedure. However, the extraction site may take several weeks to heal fully. Patients should avoid strenuous exercise, smoking, and using a straw during this time to prevent dislodging the blood clot and causing complications.
The wisdom tooth surgery procedure involves careful examination, preparation, and extraction of the wisdom teeth by an experienced dentist or oral surgeon. While the procedure may include some discomfort and a period of recovery, it is generally safe and effective in relieving the symptoms and preventing further complications associated with impacted or problematic wisdom teeth.
What to Expect After the Procedure
After the wisdom tooth surgery, patients may experience some swelling, pain, and bleeding. Following the dentist’s instructions carefully is essential to ensure proper healing and avoid complications. Dental surgeons may advise patients to avoid specific foods, activities, smoking and drinking alcohol for a few days after the surgery. Pain medications and antibiotics may also be prescribed to manage pain and prevent infection.
Most patients can resume normal activities within a few days after the surgery, but the area may take several weeks to heal fully. Proper oral hygiene during healing is crucial to avoid infection and promote healing.
Risks and Complications
While wisdom tooth surgery is generally considered safe, some risks and complications are associated with the procedure. These may include infection, bleeding, nerve damage, and dry socket. A dry socket occurs when blood clotting exposes the bone in the extraction area, causing severe pain. However, these complications are relatively rare and can be minimised by following the dentist’s instructions carefully.
Wisdom tooth surgery is a standard dental procedure that is necessary in many cases to prevent further dental problems and ensure optimal oral health. While the surgery may seem daunting, it is generally considered safe and relatively straightforward. Patients can minimise risks and ensure proper healing by carefully understanding the procedure and following the dentist’s instructions. If you are experiencing issues with your wisdom teeth, consult your dentist to determine if a wisdom tooth extraction is necessary.