Wisdom teeth removal
When it comes to dental extractions, removal of the wisdom teeth is by far one of the most common. The wisdom teeth, also known as the third molars, are the teeth right at the back of each corner of your mouth. They are also the very last teeth to come through, usually when we are in our late teens and early twenties, and this is one of the reasons that they are prone to causing problems severe enough to require extraction.
Adult teeth are generally already in place by the time the wisdom teeth begin to erupt, which can cause dental issues, when there isn’t always sufficient space for them to erupt. This can cause them to come through at an odd angle, get stuck
part way through or don’t erupt at all. When this happens, the teeth are referred to as ‘impacted’ and it can cause the patient to experience a range of unpleasant and debilitating symptoms. Unfortunately, in many instances
the only way to improve the patient’s condition is to arrange for the wisdom teeth to be removed.
Reasons for removing wisdom teeth
Many people can live with impacted wisdom teeth without them causing them problems for many years. However, in some instances
food and bacteria may begin to get trapped in the tiny gaps around the impacted teeth, and when this happens it can cause a range of dental problems including:
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease (leading to periodontitis, which in turn can cause a range of serious problems if not treated)
- Pericoronitis – infection of the soft tissue around the tooth
- Cysts and growths
- Cellulitis – a bacterial infection that affects your cheeks, tongue and throat
In many instances, antibiotics may help to alleviate the symptoms of infection such as pain and swelling. However, if the problem keeps recurring, then your dentist will almost certainly recommend that you have the tooth removed.
Removing wisdom teeth
Contrary to popular belief, if you are referred for wisdom teeth removal, we will only extract the tooth that is causing problems and not all four of your wisdom teeth.
All wisdom teeth extractions are performed under a local anesthetic, which means that the area around the tooth will be numb and you will not experience any pain while the tooth is removed.
In order to remove the tooth, it will be necessary for your dentist to widen the socket, and this is done by rocking the tooth back and forth. In some cases, a small incision in the gum or cutting the teeth into smaller pieces may also be required.
Once the tooth has been removed, the socket will be cleaned and left to heal. You will almost certainly experience some swelling and soreness, and this normally lasts for at least several days, and in some cases for up to two weeks.
Complications associated with wisdom teeth removal
Wisdom tooth removal provided by a qualified and experienced dentist or oral surgeon is considered to be a very safe procedure. However, as with all surgeries, there are several small potential complications that you should be aware of.
The first is a condition known as dry socket. This is more likely to occur if you don’t follow the specific after-care instructions given to you by your dentist. The condition is characterized by a dull, aching sensation in your gum and jaw, sometimes accompanied by a foul odor or smell. Dry socket may be uncomfortable, but it is completely treatable.
The other main complication is the potential for nerve damage, which causes changing sensations in the lips, gums, tongue and
chin. Any nerve damage is usually a temporary effect that wears off in a few days as the nerves quickly repair themselves. However, in rare circumstances
the damage can be permanent.
If you have been suffering from problems with your wisdom teeth, our oral surgeon, Dr. Ostro, can help you. Using his extensive knowledge and experience, he can examine your affected teeth and make a recommendation as to whether extraction is the best way to treat your symptoms. Our treatments at our office in Manhattan, NY, are performed with a focus on delivering an exceptional patient experience through every aspect of our care.
Are you looking for an experienced oral surgeon in Manhattan to remove your wisdom teeth? Call our office today to schedule a consultation at 6467131718.