As we grow older, our teeth develop and change. As children our primary (or baby) teeth will make way for permanent teeth. As older teens or young adults, an extra set of molars begin to develop beneath your gums and jaw bone. While these wisdom teeth can grow in properly, they are often misaligned and cause problems in many cases. When a wisdom tooth is misaligned, it must be removed by a dentist or oral surgeon to prevent further dental problems.
Wisdom teeth can grow improperly when they are positioned horizontally, or aligned away or toward your molars. They can damage neighboring teeth and destroy the jawbone or nerves. In situations when your wisdom teeth partially erupts through the gums, openings form around the tooth and allow bacteria to enter and infect the area. Such infections result in swelling, illness, pain, and expose your teeth to periodontal disease and tooth decay. They can also be difficult to clean by regular brushing and flossing because they are situated in an awkward, unreachable position in your mouth.
Wisdom teeth surgery can be performed by a trained oral and maxillofacial surgeon or your dentist. Prior to the procedure, you will be given a local anesthetic that will effectively numb the area, as well as a sedative that will ease anxiety and keep you calm throughout the procedure. Different types of sedatives such as nitrous oxide (laughing gas), intravenous sedation, or general anesthetic will ensure that you will feel no pain or discomfort throughout the procedure.
The procedure usually lasts for either 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how many teeth that require removal. During the procedure, the gum tissue concealing the wisdom tooth is carefully cut open, allowing the dentist or surgeon to remove the offending tooth. Afterwards, your gums are carefully stitched back together.
The healing process following a wisdom tooth extraction lasts for a few days to a week. Patients are advised to rest and to continue careful and consistent oral care. Gauze pads, painkillers and soft foods can also help with the recovery, and the stitches in your mouth will disappear over time.
It is recommended that wisdom teeth extraction be performed as soon as possible in order to avoid the many risks and problems that can occur if your wisdom teeth are left to grow in improperly. While the thought of wisdom teeth surgery may be daunting for some patients, you can be assured that highly trained professionals at Lacewood Square Dentistry will be with you throughout the process to provide optimum care and to facilitate a quick and easy recovery.