Wisdom Teeth

Some lucky people aren’t born with wisdom teeth. But, there are others who have them removed. Wisdom teeth are referred to as third molars and are found way in the back of the mouth. If the wisdom tooth never breaks through the bone and remains completely surrounded in the jaw, it usually doesn’t cause a problem.

Teeth that do cause problems are wisdom teeth that partially show through the bone. These have the crown of the tooth showing and can be subject to tooth decay and other periodontal disease.

When a tooth has to be removed, your orthodontist will discuss it with you. They will tell you what the tooth is doing and how it can cause problems. You may already know the problems if you have developed an abscess in that tooth. It is quite painful and requires antibiotics to treat it.

The surgical procedure can take a while depending on how many teeth are being removed. You can be in there anywhere from twenty minutes or longer. You will be numbed in the gums and around the tooth to avoid any nerve pain during the procedure. This numbing medication is usually a syringe with lidocaine. Some doctors jiggle the lip as they inject to avoid the patient feeling the stick and the burn.

Once you are sufficiently numbed, the procedure can begin. If the tooth is partially seen or sideways where it can grow into other teeth and shift them, a cut is made in the gum to create a tissue flap that will be closed over the hole afterwards. A mature wisdom tooth can have two or three roots, so the orthodontist will make sure that he can remove it with all roots intact.

Some teeth may need to be broken into pieces to be removed out of a smaller incision to reduce the trauma to the gums. The opening is sutured closed.

Once the anesthetic wears off, you may need some over-the-counter painkillers but not usually anything stronger. If you do, ask for a prescription.