Wisdom teeth certainly don’t make you smarter or wiser. However, they can give you serious headaches if you do not pay due attention to them. In order to avoid complications, it is important to know if wisdom teeth should be extracted or not, what complications can occur if you ignore certain symptoms, what extraction surgery involves and how you recover after such a procedure.
The decision to remove a wisdom tooth is not always an easy one to make. It is recommended that you discuss it with a dentist or a dental surgeon to examine the position and health of the molars, so that they can decide what is best for you, depending on the situation you are facing.
When a wisdom tooth should be removed
The problems that can arise in the case of wisdom teeth relate, in particular, to the position in which they develop and how they erupt. From this point of view, the following situations are serious reasons why extraction could be recommended or even mandatory:
- Partial eruption (part of the mass remains in the gums). Because the tooth erupts in the back of the mouth, it’s hard to see exactly what’s going on there, and brushing isn’t easy either. Therefore, partially erupting teeth can be open corridors for food retention. They can lead to gum disease and other oral infections
- They do not have enough space to grow. When the teeth do not have enough space to develop normally, they can force adjacent teeth to make room. Basically, they push into the molars next to which they grow and cause a domino effect.
Specialists recommend the extraction of wisdom teeth if certain symptoms or manifestations appear in the area, such as:
- gum pain;
- bleeding gums;
- cysts, swelling in the molar area;
- repeated infections of the soft tissue behind the brain mass;
- damage to nearby teeth;
- gum disease;
- extensive tooth decay.
What does the extraction involve?
The extraction is a surgical procedure to remove one or more wisdom teeth. Most such interventions do not involve high risks or long-term complications, but it depends very much on the technique used. In the case of teeth that grow in the gums, an incision and removal of the bone may be needed. Very rarely, the complications that can occur are infections caused by bacteria or food debris not cleaned properly, or damage to neighboring teeth, nerves, sinuses or jaw. The duration of the procedure depends on its difficulty.
Before the treatment, the surgeon will opt for a type of anesthesia, depending on the complexity of the extraction and your level of comfort. The dentist will use local or general anesthesia.
During the procedure, the dentist will:
- perform an incision in the gum tissue to reach the tooth or bone, in the case of included or semi-included molars;
- remove the bone that blocks access to the root of the tooth;
- cut the molar into two sections if it is easier to cut it into pieces;
- remove the tooth;
- clean the extraction site of any tooth or bone residue;
- suture the wound;
- apply sterile dressing. They are very important in the recovery process because they prevent excess bleeding, protect the wound from infections and exposed bone, and help grow new tissues.
Recovery after an extraction
The recovery process could be outlined as follows:
- the first 24 hours – blood clots form;
- 2-3 days – swelling of the mouth and cheeks should diminish;
- 7-10 days – stiffness and pain in the jaw should disappear;
- 2 weeks – light bruises on the face should heal.
Recovery can take up to two weeks, but this varies from patient to patient. Swelling and pain may occur after the extractions; sometimes there is infection or bleeding. Postoperative care is very important and helps you recover faster. We recommend that you keep in touch with your doctor during the entire process and maintain constant communication. You will be advised about what you should eat/drink, how to perform oral cleaning, which physical activities are recommended and which are not, and what medication you should take.
At Pacifica Dental, Dr. Fatemeh Karimi is performing oral surgeries such as complicated wisdom tooth extractions. Dr. Karimi a dedicated professional with 22 years of experience. As a team, we endeavor to make any wisdom tooth extraction as easy and painless as possible, and make sure that the recovery process is fast and without any complications.
If you have any questions about removing your wisdom teeth don’t hesitate to contact us and schedule an appointment at Pacifica Dental.