Wisdom teeth are molars found in the very back of your mouth. They usually appear in the late teens or early twenties but may become impacted (fail to erupt) due to lack of room in the jaw or angle of entry. The most common type of impacted wisdom tooth is “mesial,” which means the tooth is angled forward toward the front of your mouth.
When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it will need to be removed by an oral surgeon. If it is not removed, you may develop gum tenderness, swelling, or even severe pain. Impacted wisdom teeth that are partially or fully erupted tend to be quite difficult to clean and are susceptible to tooth decay, recurring infections, and even gum disease.
When Is Wisdom Tooth Extraction Necessary?
There are instances where wisdom teeth grow normally and do not cause any issues. However, it is more common that wisdom teeth grow at an angle or stay fully or partially trapped in the jawbone or underneath the gum tissue. This can cause substantial pain and other complications.
The following are indications that you may benefit from wisdom tooth extraction:
- Excessive pain near the site of the wisdom tooth or the back of your mouth
- Crowding around wisdom teeth allows for food to get trapped
- Emerging gum disease around your molars
- Experiencing recurrent tooth decay around the wisdom teeth
- Development of cysts around the wisdom teeth
- Damage to the surrounding teeth or jawbone
Your oral surgeon at Union City Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Group will assess the condition and position of your wisdom teeth with a comprehensive exam and determine whether wisdom tooth extraction is necessary for you. We offer state-of-the-art techniques and innovative technology that ensures you have the best results possible.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction Process
Each patient’s situation is unique. Dr. Herbst will usually take a panoramic X-ray to determine whether your tooth will need to be removed. If she recommends the removal of your wisdom teeth, it is best to have them removed sooner rather than later.
Wisdom teeth are typically removed during the late teens or early twenties because there is a greater chance the roots have not fully formed and the bone surrounding the teeth is less dense. These two factors can make extraction easier, as well as the recovery time much shorter. To remove a wisdom tooth, an oral surgeon first needs to numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. Dr. Herbst can apply additional medication, such as nitrous oxide, IV sedation, or general anesthesia to sedate you safely during the extraction if you are feeling nervous about the procedure.
Since the impacted tooth may still be under the gums and embedded in your jawbone, the doctor might have to remove a portion of the covering bone to extract the tooth. To minimize the amount of bone removed from the tooth, your wisdom tooth may be “sectioned” (cut into pieces) so each piece can be removed through a small opening in the bone.
Once your wisdom teeth have been extracted, the healing process begins. Healing time varies depending on the degree of difficulty related to the extraction. Dr. Herbst will let you know what to expect and provide instructions for a comfortable, efficient healing process.
Benefits of Wisdom Tooth Extraction
There are various benefits to wisdom tooth extraction, including:
1. Fewer Orthodontic Problems
When wisdom teeth begin to grow in, they may overcrowd your teeth and cause damage to the surrounding molars. This can result in alignment problems over time and potentially bite issues. Removing wisdom teeth can remedy this and reduce the likelihood of needing braces or other orthopedic treatments to correct misalignment.
2. Preventing Damage to Adjacent Teeth
The pressure from emerging wisdom teeth can cause significant damage to adjacent teeth, such as damaging roots, weakening the enamel, and making them more susceptible to cavities and bone loss. Additionally, cleaning wisdom teeth may be challenging and cause recurring tooth decay. Having them removed can save you time and money in fillings and potential root canals.
3. Decreasing Likelihood of Oral Disease
If you remove wisdom teeth promptly, you may decrease the likelihood of oral diseases, such as gum diseases. This may be uncomfortable as inflammation may not subside since it is sensitive to the touch and hard to clean those areas. Infections that are neglected may get underneath the gums, damage nerves, and then enter the bloodstream, evolving into fatal complications.
4. Reducing Orofacial Pain
In addition to reducing cavities and gum disease, extraction can help alleviate pain associated with inflammation, pressure, gum sensitivity, and pain from overcrowding. Pressure from emerging wisdom teeth may also cause chronic headaches and sinus issues.
5. Preventing Jaw Disorders and Other Dental Conditions
The position of emerging wisdom teeth can also be a breeding ground for germs and bacteria that generates chronic cysts and tumors that negatively impact the jawbone and cause joint pain when moving your jaw. This can exacerbate or cause severe TMJ that may need to be medically treated in the future.
Speak With the Experienced Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons at Union City Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Group
If you are suffering from painful symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth, the experienced oral surgeons at Union City Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Group offer state-of-the-art surgical treatment for the extraction of wisdom teeth and exceptional patient care so you may feel confident in your results. We believe in offering support before, during, and post-treatment so your oral healthcare needs are consistently met.
With over 25 years of experience, Dr. Nancy Herbst offers innovative patient care and methodology to ensure you achieve the best results. Request an appointment today or call our office at (201) 601-9262 to speak to our knowledgeable oral surgeons regarding wisdom tooth extraction.