WISDOM TOOTH REMOVAL
Updated: May 18
If you recently heard your oral surgeon say, "You need to get your wisdom tooth removed," and you're feeling anxious, know that you're not alone. Going to the dental clinic can be scary, especially when faced with the prospect of having a tooth extracted. However, oral surgery is often necessary for maintaining good dental health. While getting a wisdom tooth extracted can be uncomfortable, as your oral surgeon, we do our best to make the experience as calming and comfortable as possible for you.
So, why do you need to get your wisdom teeth removed?
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the final set of teeth to emerge in the mouth. They usually begin to erupt around the age of 18 and are situated at the back of the mouth. Third molars are infamous for their tendency to erupt at unusual angles or positions, or sometimes not at all. This erratic eruption pattern puts them at risk of decay, infections, and even cysts, which may require removal. Third molars are highly susceptible to dental cavities and gum disease because this area is not easily reachable with regular oral hygiene practices.
Some of the most common reasons for extracting third molars (wisdom teeth) are:
The third molar is at an unusual angle, tilted, and causing pain or trauma to the inside of the mouth.
It is infected or decayed.
There is an abscess or cyst around the tooth. Sometimes, the swelling from the untreated infected third molar can spread to involve the neck and other facial spaces, causing airway obstruction, which is an emergency and may lead to death if not treated promptly.
When there is insufficient space between the second molar and the lower jawbone (mandibular ramus), the third molar is unable to emerge, resulting in constant pressure on the remaining teeth. This causes severe pain and necessitates removal.
Pericoronitis is an infection of the gum flap surrounding the third molar when it has not erupted vertically. The bacteria from these infections can enter the bloodstream and affect other organs, resulting in sepsis. To avoid complications like these, third molars must be removed.
PROCESS OF WISDOM TOOTH REMOVAL
If your oral surgeon has recommended the extraction of your wisdom tooth, they will schedule your surgery and take steps to ensure your comfort during the procedure. On the day of your surgery, wear loose and comfortable clothing and make sure to get proper rest the day before.
The oral surgeon will begin the extraction by injecting a local anesthetic to numb the area. Once you are numb, you will not feel any pain during the procedure. If necessary, the surgeon will make small incisions in your gums to access the tooth or use elevators to remove it from the socket. Bone cutting may be required in some cases. After removal, the socket is checked, and the gums are closed with sutures.
After surgery, you will receive instructions on how to care for the extraction site and prescribed antibiotics and painkillers. It is important to follow these instructions and take your medication as directed for proper healing. If you have any questions or need to schedule an appointment, don't hesitate to contact our exceptional oral surgery in Encino.