A wisdom tooth extraction is usually done because most patients don't have enough room for a wisdom tooth. Humans have four wisdom teeth, one at each of the four ends of the mouth. Of the 32 teeth, it is the last in the tooth eruption sequence to come into the mouth. By the time the tooth comes in most of the room in the mouth is usually taken and the wisdom tooth doesn't fit. This causes a number of wisdom tooth problems.
Because of the limited space, a wisdom tooth can grow sideways or become trapped under the gums. When it partially erupts into the mouth, it can form a pouch that traps food. The trapped food can cause tooth decay and the second molar in front of the wisdom tooth can also become decayed. If the gums become infected, it can cause wisdom tooth swelling, wisdom tooth pain, wisdom tooth headache and a bad odor. When any wisdom tooth symptom occurs, it is very important to have your wisdom tooth removed. If the infection is left untreated it can continue around the wisdom tooth and cause facial swelling that can prevent the patient's mouth from opening.
The pressure from a wisdom tooth trying to get into the mouth can cause the rest of the teeth to move out of place. This is why most orthodontic patients have third molar extractions after getting their braces off. Early wisdom tooth surgery may even avoid the need for orthodontic care. When a wisdom tooth is badly trapped inside the jaw bone,a cyst can form around the wisdom tooth. Dental wisdom tooth cysts can grow and push teeth out of their way. In some rare cases, a cyst can form a tumor. This is a good reason for having wisdom tooth removing performed early.
A wisdom tooth is also called a third molar and a dentist may call a wisdom tooth surgery a third molar surgery. Wisdom tooth problems can develop without any pain, however, most patients seek dental services for wisdom tooth pain relief.
Dentists provide patients with most oral surgery services including routine extractions and impacted wisdom tooth removal. An impacted wisdom tooth picture can often help patients understand the need for removal. Most wisdom tooth surgery procedures go very well, take less than an hour and are done in our office to reduce the wisdom tooth extraction cost. Our dentists will see wisdom tooth emergency patients.
The wisdom tooth extraction procedure
The wisdom tooth extraction procedure is simple. Some patient's having extractions choose to have nitrous oxide ( laughing gas ) to help relax before numbing. The wisdom tooth removal surgery patient is seated and completely numbed. It's important to wait and allow the numbness to sink in fully. The dentist checks the depth of anesthesia by making a small incision around the wisdom tooth. Once it is confirmed that the patient is completely numb, the incision is lengthened and the gum tissue is gently pulled away from the wisdom tooth. If any of the surrounding bone is in the way, it is then removed. If needed, the tooth is then gently sectioned into pieces and the pieces are removed. Finally, sutures ( stitches ) are placed so that the gum tissue lays back into place correctly.
The dentists believe that most oral surgery patients should be placed on antibiotics after surgery. All surgery patients are seen one week after their procedure and no additional fee is charged for this visit.
Possible Complications of Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Fortunately, most wisdom tooth extractions go well with few wisdom tooth extraction complications. The most common problems are pain and swelling in the area of the impacted wisdom tooth extraction. This can be kept to a minimum by good wisdom tooth removal care and by taking pain medications, applying cold to the surgical area immediately after the wisdom tooth removal and moist heat several hours later. Some patients bleed for up to 24 hours after the oral surgery. However, in healthy patients this is not usually a problem.
A dry socket can be a complication of third molar extractions. Dentists are not sure why a wisdom tooth dry socket happens but the pain from a dry socket normally begins about three days after the wisdom tooth pulling procedure and lasts about one week. Perhaps the most feared possible complication is temporary or permanent numbness after extraction. The roots of a wisdom tooth can wrap around the nerve that carries feeling to the lip and chin.
Complications from extractions increase as a patient gets older. The experience of getting a wisdom tooth pulled is easier for young people and this is the best time to remove a wisdom tooth because young patients are healthy and heal quickly. When wisdom tooth extractions are done early it avoids all of the possible future complications.
Avoiding wisdom tooth problems
A wisdom tooth problem can interfere with your life. Fighter pilots and submariners routinely have all their wisdom teeth removed to avoid any potential problems that may interfere with their duties. If you travel, an infected wisdom tooth can disrupt your trip and avoiding treatment can significantly increase you wisdom tooth cost.
Even when a wisdom tooth manages to get into the mouth, it is very difficult to get all the way back in the mouth to clean it. This can cause cavities, periodontal disease or a wisdom tooth infection around the third molar and neighboring teeth. A wisdom tooth picture gives an idea of this problem.
Some patients having a wisdom tooth removal choose to have nitrous oxide ( laughing gas ) administered to help relax before being numbed. The wisdom tooth removal patient is seated and completely numbed. It's important to wait and allow the numbness to sink in fully. The dentist checks the depth of the anesthesia by making a small incision around the tooth. Once it is confirmed that the patient is completely numb, the incision is lengthened and the gum tissue is gently pulled away from the wisdom tooth. If any of the surrounding bone is in the way, it is then removed. If needed, the wisdom tooth is then gently sectioned into pieces and the pieces are then removed. Finally, sutures ( stitches ) are placed so that the gum tissue lays back into place correctly. The dentists at the Atlanta Dental Group,PC believe that most patients should be placed on antibiotics after oral surgery. All patients are then seen post operatively one week after their oral surgery procedure and there is no additional fee for this visit if it's solely to check the surgery site.
Fortunately a wisdom tooth removal usually goes well with few complications. The most common problems are pain and swelling in the area of the wisdom tooth removal. This can be kept to a minimum by taking pain medications, applying cold to the surgical area immediately after the wisdom tooth extraction and moist heat several hours later. Some patients bleed for up to 24 hours after the wisdom tooth removal. However, in healthy patients this is not usually a problem.
A dry socket can be a complication. Dentists are not sure why a dry socket happens but the pain from a dry socket normally begins about 3 days after the oral surgery and lasts about one week. Perhaps the most feared complication is possible temporary or permanent numbness after the wisdom tooth removal. The roots of some wisdom teeth can wrap around the nerve that carries feeling to a patient's lip and chin.
Complications from a wisdom tooth removal increase as a patient gets older. The experience is relatively easy for young people and this is the best time to have a wisdom tooth removal because young patients are healthy and heal quickly. When a wisdom tooth removal is done early, it avoids all of the possible future complications for a patient.
A wisdom tooth problem can interfere with your life. Fighter pilots and submariners routinely have them removed to avoid any potential problems that may interfere with duties. If you travel, a dental problem can disrupt your trip. Even when a tooth manages to get into the mouth, it's very difficult for a patient to clean all the way back in the mouth. This cause cavities and periodontal disease around the wisdom tooth and its neighboring teeth.
Wisdom tooth extraction is surgery and is commonly covered by most traditional dental insurance carriers at 80%. Some medical insurance policies also cover oral surgery. If you are concerned if your insurance covers your oral surgery, it's a good idea to visit for a consultation and panorex x-ray. Having the panorex x-ray allows dentists to create an estimate for your wisdom tooth removal. This estimate can then be sent to your insurance for a pre-estimate of payment.
Also, my fiance and his sister are dentist they recommended i give you this info:
What's so smart about teeth that only cause trouble? "Wisdom teeth" may seem like a misnomer, especially since people often have to have them removed. But these teeth -- also known as third molars -- usually arrive in the late teen years, a time traditionally seen as the passage to adulthood and an age of wisdom, hence the optimistic name.
The main problem is that wisdom teeth usually try to grow into a jaw that's too small for them. The last teeth in the jawline, they often grow in sideways, pushing against teeth that are already in place and minding their own business. Because wisdom teeth are difficult to clean, there may be a build-up of bacteria, plaque, and food debris around them -- something that can cause gum disease or decay in the wisdom tooth and other molars.
Why do we even have wisdom teeth?
Dentists say wisdom teeth are apparently a vestigial organ -- that is, one that isn't very useful now but played an important role in the body in eons past. The diets of our prehistoric ancestors contained much more coarse food, which resulted in a larger, more developed jaw with more room for third molars. People also used to lose more permanent teeth at an early age, leaving space for wisdom teeth that would serve as replacements.
"Some say wisdom teeth are like spare tires," says Dr. Louis Rafetto, a Wilmington, Delaware-based oral surgeon who chairs the Third Molar Task Force of the American Association of Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons. "If you lost your teeth, the wisdom teeth would be extra teeth that come in and function like normal teeth."
Since fewer people in the United States today are in danger of losing their permanent teeth, though, wisdom teeth have generally outgrown their usefulness for us. If a checkup shows that your wisdom teeth may cause problems, your dentist will probably recommend that that the troublesome teeth be removed -- whether that means a couple of wisdom teeth or all four of them. In the event that all four have grown in normally, your dentist may adopt a wait-and-see approach, taking x-rays every few years to make sure they're still healthy.
How do I know if my wisdom teeth should be removed?
Check with your dentist. Pain and swelling around your wisdom teeth indicate that they're causing problems. Whether or not you have any symptoms, x-rays will show whether there's infection or whether your teeth are impacted -- that is, if there's no room for them to erupt through the gum.
If I don't have any pain or swelling, can I just leave my wisdom teeth alone?
Even if you don't have pain or swelling, your dentist may recommend that you get your wisdom teeth removed early on. The main reason is that recent studies show that wisdom teeth are linked to a higher rate of chronic bacterial infection in the gums, and can endanger the health of both the back and front teeth -- even if the patient feels no symptoms at all.
A study of 329 patients who had intact wisdom teeth, for example, found that even though the participants had no symptoms of discomfort, there was still evidence of disease-causing bacteria around their wisdom teeth. In fact, the study authors, who published their report in a recent issue of the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, concluded that gum disease in young adults often begins around the wisdom teeth.
It's also easier to remove the teeth when you're younger, because the jawbone is less dense and the tooth's root is not yet fully developed, according to American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
What makes wisdom teeth more vulnerable to infection?
According to Rafetto, the front teeth are better protected by gum tissue, which surrounds them like "a tight turtleneck collar." That keeps bacteria from getting under the gum line easily. The wisdom teeth, however, are surrounded by gum tissue that Rafetto likens to a "boat-neck collar," which allows more bacteria to get under the gum line and cause infection. Because it's harder to clean and floss between back teeth, they could harbor plaque and bacteria that could ultimately decay the teeth around them, including those in the front, Rafetto says.
How are wisdom teeth removed?
This depends on how deeply embedded in the jawbone your wisdom teeth are. Some impacted teeth are blocked by the gum from erupting, while others are partially encased in bone. In the past, wisdom teeth were removed in a hospital with the patient under general anesthesia; today wisdom teeth are almost always removed in an office setting by an oral or maxillofacial surgeon. If yours need to be extracted, you'll be given an anesthetic that you and your doctor decide on beforehand.
Talk with your dentist or oral surgeon about advance preparations. In general, it's important to dress comfortably for the operation, bring someone along to help you get home, and avoid eating or drinking anything for at least six hours prior to surgery.
Your surgeon will use as little force as possible to remove the tooth, carefully pushing the gum out of the way and then cutting the tooth into small sections for removal. Since you'll receive some type of sedation, you shouldn't feel any pain or discomfort during the surgery. After the teeth are removed, the surgeon will suture your gums back into place.
What are the possible complications of wisdom teeth removal?
Complications from wisdom tooth removal are rare. They include infection, temporary sinus complications, injury to other teeth, numbness (usually temporary), temporary joint problems in the jaw, and in very rare cases, jaw fracture. If the jaw seems weak after surgery, your doctor may advise avoiding hard foods until the healing is complete.
What should I do after the surgery?
The outcome of surgery to remove wisdom teeth is often visible: chipmunk cheeks. The good news is the symptoms don't last long, and dentists have many ways to minimize swelling or pain. The symptoms rarely last more than 48 to 72 hours.
To allow the area to heal, you should eat only soft foods, soups, and liquids for at least the first two days following surgery. Complications are rare, but you should report any of the following symptoms of infection to your oral surgeon immediately:
â€¢Fever of more than 100 degrees
â€¢Pain or a bad or salty taste in your mouth, whether or not there's discharge from the site
In some cases, blood doesn't properly form a clot in the tooth's empty socket, leading to a local infection known as "dry socket" about 48 hours after surgery. Although painful, the condition is easily treated by placing a medicated dressing on the extraction site.
Of course, some bleeding and swelling around the empty socket is normal. Applying pressure to your gums will usually stop bleeding, and ice helps ease swelling. Raffeto advises patients to rinse with warm water and to use ice or a cold pack around the affected area of the jaw to reduce swelling. Patients who don't place ice in their mouths or ice packs on their jaw after the procedure are usually the ones in the worst shape when they come to see him for follow-up appointments a few days after surgery. "It makes a huge difference in recovery," Rafetto says.
-- Laurie Udesky is an award-winning journalist and a frequent contributor to Consumer Health Interactive.
American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons:
American Dental Association: http://www.ada.org