Removing wisdom teeth
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, form all the way in the back of your mouth, usually between the ages of 16 and 25. They are the last set of teeth to come in and often cause problems when they are erupting (breaking through the gum line), or if they are impacted (they do not come up through gum line). This is because there is only so much room in your jaw and the arrival of another tooth can put pressure on the ones around it.
It is possible for wisdom teeth to appear, erupt, and take their place in your jaw without any trouble, but removal may be necessary if they are impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause a number of problems, such as swelling, tenderness, and sever pain in the gums. When impacted wisdom teeth have erupted partially (think of an iceberg sticking out of the ocean) or all the way, they become a nuisance to clean, which leads to gum disease, frequent infections, and tooth decay.
Having your wisdom teeth removed
Panoramic X-rays are the first step to determining whether you need oral surgery to have your wisdom teeth removed. With these helpful images, Dr. Barganier can examine your mouth and see what needs to be done. Every treatment plan is designed with patients’ specific needs in mind, so remember that a recommendation to have your wisdom teeth removed should be taken seriously and acted upon as soon as possible. If impacted wisdom teeth are left alone, the complications can become more severe as their roots continue to form and the bone surrounding them grows denser. This also negatively affects the ease of the removal procedure and length of recovery time.
How are wisdom teeth removed? The first thing to remember is that you won’t feel a thing, because your dentist will use a local anesthetic (numbs the tooth and surrounding area). In fact, if you have concerns about the procedure and don’t wish to be conscious, general anesthetic (sedation) is also available.
Once the anesthetic has taken effect, your dentist will begin the procedure. Depending on whether or not the tooth has erupted fully, it may be necessary for your dentist to remove small portions of the bone covering the tooth. This is done carefully and with minimal bone removal to ensure a speedy, comfortable recovery.
Now the procedure is over and you can begin to heal. Each patient’s case is unique so there is no set time for recovery, but many patients find that they are back to work within a couple of days. Your dentist will discuss the recovery process with you and give you a recovery guide and medication to take home, so that you have the quickest and most pleasant healing process.