Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that grow in during the late teens and early 20s. They usually come in at the back of the mouth, right behind the molars.
When wisdom teeth come in properly aligned, and without complications, there’s usually no issue. But, wisdom teeth often become impacted or misaligned, which can cause pain and make it difficult to keep them clean and healthy. Such teeth may need to be removed to avoid future problems.
Why Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. When they align properly, and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not generally happen. The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum, and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as they attempt to find a pathway that will allow them to erupt successfully.
Besides, most people don’t have room in their mouths for their wisdom teeth. When wisdom teeth come in, they can get stuck in or push against other teeth. If wisdom teeth come in crooked, they can put pressure on other teeth, causing pain, shifting, and even bite problems. Additionally, wisdom teeth can be harder to clean and are at risk for cavities, gum disease, and malocclusion. Such teeth need to be removed.
Wisdom Teeth Removal Procedure
First, your doctor will provide local anesthesia to numb the areas where the wisdom teeth will be removed. This will also be administered before the surgery begins.
After an anesthetic has been administered, your surgeon will begin the procedure. The exact steps will depend on your unique situation and your surgeon’s recommendations. Typically, however, the following steps will take place in most procedures:
- The teeth are removed from the jaw bone. If the tooth is impacted, the dentist will cut away the gum and bone tissue covering the tooth before removing it.
- The gums are sutured closed.
- A gauze pad is placed over the wound to stop the bleeding.
- Antibiotics and/or pain medication may be prescribed.
Recovery from wisdom teeth removal can take some time. The healing process depends on a number of factors, such as the type of surgery you undergo, your body’s ability to heal itself, and how closely you follow your dentist’s instructions. Some common side effects of wisdom teeth removal include jaw and mouth soreness, swelling, and bleeding.
What Are The Alternatives To Wisdom Teeth Extractions?
If a dentist feels that the wisdom teeth are not likely to cause any problems, then extraction may not be necessary. If the wisdom teeth are not causing problems, then the dentist may advise the patient to avoid extraction and instead periodically check on the wisdom teeth to make sure that they are not becoming impacted or causing other dental issues.
Call us at (818) 789-2034 or schedule an online appointment to have a consultation with Dr. Daniel Tebbi at our practice in Encino, CA.