Wisdom teeth as they are commonly known, consist of the last four teeth or third molars. These molars are the last set of teeth to develop, and usually come out between the ages of 17 to 25. Wisdom teeth are located both at the top and bottom of the back of the mouth. As these molars develop and come out, spacing in the mouth can be an issue and prevent the teeth to get positioned properly and be fully functional. If wisdom teeth grow out in an undesirable position, it can affect the adjacent teeth as well as cause infections, cysts and even tumors if left untreated.
There are different levels or kinds of molar impaction (getting stuck):
Soft tissue impaction: occurs when the gum has not positioned properly around the tooth and it’s covering part or all of the tooth’s crown. This issue can cause tooth decay or an infection because the area cannot be cleaned effectively. Inflammation and pain can arise from and infection or decay of a tooth and needs to be treated immediately to prevent further damage.
Partial bony impaction: is when part of the tooth is still below the gum line and the jawbone. Similar to a soft tissue impaction, infection and decay can occur because the area cannot be clean properly. Treatment is necessary in order to restore the tooth to its normal position or extract it completely and prevent further dental issues.
Complete bony impaction: happens when the tooth is surrounded by the jawbone completely. In this case, a more complex procedure might be required to extract the tooth.
When should your wisdom teeth be extracted?
Wisdom teeth removal is a common dental procedure that can be done as a preventive method or to alleviate a dental problem caused by the irregular eruption of the tooth. If left untreated, any kind of issue that arises from the growing and eruption of the wisdom teeth should be checked and treated to avoid further damage such as.
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Swelling and pain
- Tooth crowding or misalignment of surrounding teeth
During your regular dental check-ups, your dentist will examine your wisdom teeth and surrounding teeth to make sure they are all developing or positioned correctly. If further information is needed for your evaluation, your dentist might order dental X-rays to analyse more in depth the position of your teeth and if any current or potential issues can be detected according to how your wisdom teeth look. Once your dentist has reviewed all available information he or she can give you the best treatment options.
How are wisdom teeth removed?
The extraction of wisdom teeth is a common dental procedure that requires a small surgical procedure. The procedure is performed under local anaesthesia and conscious or complete sedation, depending on the patient. Once you are under sedation and the area numbed, the dental surgeon will make an incision to expose the tooth from the gum or bone. The tooth is then fractured into smaller pieces if it cannot be taken out completely. Once the tooth is completely removed, the incision is then cleaned and sutured. Your dentist will then give you instructions and medication to best take care once the procedure is finalized, to help with any swelling or discomfort that you might feel once the anaesthesia wears off. Good oral hygiene as well as regular dental visits are important to ensure the success of your treatment and your dental health.
Here at University Meadows Family Dental, we are committed to improving and restoring your smile into its healthy condition, under a comfortable and welcoming environment. We are happy to provide you with the necessary information and discuss your options. Call us today for a beautiful smile!