The third molars, or the wisdom teeth, are the last ones to erupt among the permanent teeth.
Since they erupt, if they do erupt, at a mature age, generally between 17 and 25, they are often called “wisdom” teeth.
Of course, there is no real connection between the eruption of wisdom, teeth, and intelligence.
If you haven’t got your wisdom teeth, or have less than four of them, you do not have to go to a neuro physician.
But you may need to see your dentist if you still haven’t got some or all of your wisdom teeth by your 25th birthday.
Table Of Contents
- 1 Impacted Wisdom Teeth
- 2 Extraction of Wisdom Teeth; Is it the Only Option?
- 3 Is the Extraction of Wisdom Teeth Risky?
- 4 The procedure of Wisdom Tooth Extraction
- 5 Post Care
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth behave rather like older people.
They are the last teeth to erupt in each jaw. And they may erupt partially or may not erupt at all.
Teeth which do not erupt properly or remain below the gum are called “impacted” teeth.
Most of the problems associated with wisdom teeth are associated with their impaction.
Some of them include:
This is the first and the least bothersome effect.
Neglect can lead to gum injury under pressure of chewing and may result in infection in the gum tissue. This condition is called
Damage to adjacent teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth can damage the growth and alignment of adjacent teeth. Also, the infection may be transferred to neighboring gums and teeth.
Cysts and Other Swelling
Cysts and swellings, if they form around an impacted tooth, require removal of the affected wisdom tooth fluid/pus-filled sacs.
Damage to the bone
Not only can impacted wisdom teeth interfere with the correct alignment of neighboring teeth, but they can also make their realignment difficult. Therefore, if your dentist feels that there is insufficient space in your jaws for proper alignment of all the teeth, he or she may decide to remove your wisdom teeth.
Extraction of Wisdom Teeth; Is it the Only Option?
“Because of the reasons listed above, dentists usually advise the extraction of an impacted wisdom tooth which is found to be a source of one more of these above problems.
Some dentists even advise a complete removal all wisdom teeth whether they get impacted or not.
The removal of a tooth is much easier when it has not yet grown large roots. “ says Senova Dental Practice in Watford
For this reason, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that individuals between ages 16 and 19 should have their wisdom teeth assessed to determine if extraction would be useful as a preventive step.
The logic supporting this approach is:
- The impacted tooth is a likely source problem in the future, even if not now.
- Even symptom-free wisdom teeth can harbor infection which can appear or spread later.
- Wisdom teeth promote the chances of acquiring gum disease and tooth cavities (caries).
- Extraction of a wisdom tooth at later ages will be more difficult when it has become more firmly rooted.
Is the Extraction of Wisdom Teeth Risky?
Extraction of wisdom teeth does typically not result in any long-term complications.
However, in some rare cases, one or more of the following issues may come up:
If the blood clot formed after surgery is removed, a condition known as dry socket may result. However, this condition arises rarely.
Usually, your dentist will advise use antibiotics to prevent any follow-up infection. But in case of non-compliance infection may result.
There is a possibility sinus damage in case of extraction upper wisdom teeth. However, your dentist is well aware of this and will take the necessary precautions during the procedure. You have nothing to worry about if the procedure is performed by a qualified and experienced dentist.
Weakening of the jawbone
This is a remote possibility.
Damage to nerves
Damage to nerves in the vicinity of the wisdom teeth can result in the reduction, or even loss of sensation in the lower lip, tongue or the chin region.
The procedure of Wisdom Tooth Extraction
- Anesthesia– It is a regular practice that gives anesthesia to avoid pain during the process. It can be one of three types depending on the pain threshold level.
- Local anesthesia. Anesthetic injections are given in the region around the tooth with a beautiful and sharp needle. To avoid the pain of vaccination, you may even be applied with a numbing liquid. You will remain fully awake during the surgery but will not feel any pain. You may feel some pressure.
- Sedation– An intravenous injection may be given in your arm to sedate you. Sedation will make you unconscious. Additionally, local anesthesia may be used to numb your gums.
- General anesthesia. This will be needed only in exceptional cases. General anesthesia (GA) makes you unconscious. Under GA, your body functions like blood pressure, breathing rate, temperature, and fluids are closely monitored by automatic instruments.
- Incision– A cut is made in the top of the gum to expose the tooth and the underlying bone.
- Bone Removal – Any bone which is impeding access to the tooth is removed.
- Tooth Sectioning – The tooth may be divided into sections if the dentist finds it easier to remove the tooth in parts.
- Cleaning– After the tooth has been extracted completely, your dentist will clean the site of extraction and
- Suturing – the gum may be stitched after the surgery if there is a need. Gauze is then placed over the wound and pressed to control bleeding. This should be kept pressed for a few minutes till you are sure a clot has formed, and the bleeding stopped.
- In the case of local anesthesia, you can walk out of the dentist’s chair in complete senses. The site of surgery will remain numb for a while and avoid your pain.
- In the case of sedation or GA, you will be kept under observation in a recovery room. You are advised to limit your activity for the rest of the day.
- After recovery from anesthesia or at any time avoid touching the site of extraction. You may damage the naturally formed cloth and acquire a dry socket.
- Drink lots of water but avoid the use of straws or any other method which involves sucking. This care is applicable for about a week to prevent bleeding.
- Avoid hot, caffeinated, or carbonated beverages as well as alcohol for the first 24 hours.
- Restrict your diet to soft foods only for one day. Prevent food particles sticking in the site of extraction. Careful rinsing after a meal may be needed (but not brushing) at the site.
- Pain management. Your dentist will typically prescribe pain medicines. These are to be used only when needed. In case of pain, try to contain it with a cold pack.
- Bleeding. It is natural for some blood to ooze and form a clot. Avoid any mouth movement which could dislocate the lot. Avoid brushing the site, vigorous rinsing, and sucking.
- Swelling and bruising. Any initial swelling and bruising of your cheeks will reduce or go away in two to three days. Use icepacks to promote recovery.
- Cleaning your mouth. For the first 24 hours while brushing your teeth avoid the site of extraction. Also, rinse only gently.
- Avoid the use of tobacco or its derivatives for at least the first 24 hours. (much better if you give it up permanently)
- Call your dentist in case:
- Bleeding persists,
- Swelling and pain worsen
- Numbness does not go away.
Wisdom tooth removal is an entirely safe procedure if it provided by an experienced dentist or oral surgeon.
Therefore, if your dentist recommends that you should get your wisdom teeth removed, then you should go ahead with the procedure without any fear or worries.