The molars in the very back of your mouth are called wisdom teeth. These generally emerge in your late teens or early twenties. However, if the tooth’s angle of entry is off, or if there isn’t enough room in your jaw, your wisdom teeth may fail to erupt, becoming impacted. In this situation, wisdom teeth may very well need to be removed. Otherwise, they can cause tenderness in the gums, swelling, and even pain. Impacted teeth are also very difficult to clean, making them frequent targets of tooth decay, gum disease, and infections.
Most wisdom teeth are removed shortly after they appear, in the hopes that the teeth have not fully formed their roots and that the bone around the tooth is less dense. Both of these things can make extraction much simpler and easier, also reducing the amount of time the patient needs to recover.
On discovering impacted wisdom teeth, we’ll take X-rays to make sure your wisdom teeth really do need to be removed. If they do, we’ll recommend their removal and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. It’s best to get this out of the way sooner, instead of later.
First, we’ll numb the area around your wisdom tooth with an anesthetic. We can also sedate you if you’re feeling anxious. The impacted tooth might be under your gums or stuck in the jaw bone, so it’s possible we might need to remove a part of the bone to get to the tooth. We’ll usually divide your wisdom tooth into sections in this case, to reduce the amount of bone we have to remove.
Once the tooth is out, you’ll begin to heal. This takes time; the exact amount depends on the extraction. We’ll give you a good idea of what to expect and tell you everything you need to know to heal comfortably and efficiently.