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Wisdom Tooth Extraction & Surgery

What are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are your last set of adult teeth to grow in. Also called “third molars,” your wisdom teeth are located in the very back of your mouth. Sometimes, wisdom teeth grow in properly and never cause any trouble. But often, wisdom teeth become partially or fully trapped (impacted) in your gums or jawbone.

1

There is not enough space in the jaw

At one point in time, the wisdom teeth (also called third molars) were important for eating and digestive reasons. As we evolved and began cooking and softening food, the third molars were not nearly as necessary. As they lost their purpose, the human jaw began to get smaller on average.

This has caused overcrowding of teeth in the mouth, and the third molars do not serve much of a purpose, especially if they do not grow in properly. By removing wisdom teeth, patients create extra space and can subsequently protect teeth from damage. Wisdom tooth extraction may also be necessary during orthodontic care when treating issues of overcrowded or crooked teeth

2

The wisdom teeth are impacted

Impacted wisdom teeth may not seem like a problem since they have not emerged through the gums entirely, but they can become very problematic. Partially or fully impacted wisdom teeth can begin to grow sideways, pushing against the second set of molars and causing damage and pain to the teeth. Partially impacted wisdom teeth can also increase the risk of gum disease and oral infection as they open the gums without ever fully emerging in a natural way. Subsequently, dentists typically recommend wisdom tooth extraction to deal with symptoms of the impacted teeth or to prevent issues from developing.

3

They can increase the risk of oral health concerns

Even if there are no signs of overcrowding and the teeth are not impacted, dentists may still recommend the removal of wisdom teeth to simply reduce the overall risk of oral health concerns. It is also common for dentists to perform wisdom tooth extraction if the wisdom teeth have cavities. Having wisdom teeth removed early before discomforting or problematic symptoms develop can save the patient a lot of stress and help them maintain ideal oral health long-term.

What is the extraction process like?

During the initial visit at the dental clinic, your dentist will do a comprehensive dental examination and take some x-rays of your mouth to check the wisdom teeth’s alignment and condition. Surgery may be recommended by the dentist, depending on the wisdom teeth’s condition.

While wisdom tooth surgery is a minor surgical procedure performed under local anesthesia; if you feel nervous about it, you can opt to go through the procedure sedated or under general anesthesia.

During the wisdom tooth surgery, the surgeon will lift the overly