Wisdom Tooth Removal
Tooth extraction is a common procedure that happens all over the US and a big portion of these procedures involve wisdom tooth removal. But why do wisdom teeth need to be removed? The answer lies in the way they often grow in the mouth. At East Lyme Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery we work with a lot of patients who are in need of wisdom tooth removal and we are here to explain why wisdom teeth are extracted so often.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are the furthest teeth in the back of the mouth. Sitting behind the molars, these teeth are quite different from the others in your mouth. For starters, they start growing well after permanent teeth have settled in. In the vast majority of cases, one doesn’t get their wisdom teeth until they are at least 17 years old and in other cases, it could be as late as 25 years old. Not everyone has wisdom teeth, however, which makes it quite unique.
There are cases where wisdom teeth are not a problem and there is no need to remove them. Oftentimes, however, they can grow in such a way that it affects other teeth in the mouth - this is known as an impacted wisdom tooth.
A common problem that an impacted wisdom tooth causes is that it will erupt in the direction where your molars which not only push those teeth, but also the teeth that are next to the molars creating dental problems such as jaw pain, swollen gums, and misaligned teeth. This is one of the biggest reasons why wisdom teeth are extracted, but there are other problems that can result in removal such as tooth decay.
Because wisdom teeth are far back in the mouth, they are more difficult to clean - especially if the tooth has not erupted fully. This leads to many cases of wisdom teeth succumbing to tooth decay. Infections that are left untreated can spread and/or cause the person high levels of pain. If you are experiencing irritation and/or pain where the wisdom tooth erupts, it is important to get it checked out before further problems emerge.
Extracting Wisdom Teeth
Unlike other teeth, wisdom tooth removal often requires surgery. A partially erupted wisdom tooth or one that simply has not erupted at all cannot be removed by traditional extraction methods. The procedure resembles what you might imagine a standard surgical procedure to entail.
First, an incision (cut) is made in the area to reveal the tooth and surrounding bone, which is then removed as needed for easier access to the tooth. The tooth is then removed - usually in parts rather than extracting the entire tooth at once. Finally, the area is cleaned and stitched closed.
Depending on the complexity, this procedure can take 45 minutes to complete. You will not experience any pain due to the use of anesthesia.
Contact Us If You are Experiencing Issues
Is your mouth bothering you? Do you have any questions you’d like answered? At East Lyme Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery we want to help you have a mouth free from health problems. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with us or need to ask us anything, you can call our office at (860) 934-7809.