A Patient’s Guide To Wisdom Tooth Removal
It’s almost like a rite of passage: having your wisdom teeth removed. In fact, at Overmeyer Family Dental, we regularly perform wisdom tooth removals. If you think your wisdom teeth need to be removed or you’re simply curious about wisdom tooth removal, we’ve put together just about all there is to know about wisdom teeth and extraction.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Your wisdom teeth are the last of your teeth to erupt and the last set of molars to come in at the back of your mouth. Wisdom teeth usually make their appearance between the ages of 17 and 25.
Researchers believe wisdom teeth were once a valuable asset to our ancestors many centuries ago who needed the extra teeth to chew through raw plants with tougher plant walls. These days, that extra help is hardly needed.
When wisdom teeth come in properly aligned and without causing an issue, they can be a valuable asset to your mouth. However, in most cases, wisdom teeth need to be removed.
Why Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?
There are several reasons why we may need to remove your wisdom teeth. In fact, just about every case is different and that’s exactly why we will tailor your extraction to suit your individual needs. The most common reasons wisdom teeth have to be removed include:
- They’re impacted
- They come in at an incorrect angle
- There’s no room left in your jaw to accommodate your wisdom teeth
- You have tooth decay or gum disease
What Does It Mean If My Wisdom Teeth Are Impacted?
If a wisdom tooth doesn’t have enough room to come in, the tooth can become tilted, twisted, or displaced as it tries to come in. If this occurs, it means the tooth is impacted.
The degree of impaction depends on where in relation to your jawbone the tooth lies. If it is still entirely encased by your jawbone, the tooth is completely impacted. However, if the crown of the tooth has emerged from the bone but is still covered by gum tissue, it’s called a partial impaction.
In most cases, you’ll feel some sort of discomfort if your wisdom teeth become impacted. But sometimes there are no symptoms at all. The only way to know for sure if your wisdom teeth need to be removed us to see us for a consultation and some X-rays.
However, if you notice any of the following symptoms, call us right away:
- Swollen gums or swelling around the jaw
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Headache or jaw ache
Wisdom Tooth Removal: What To Expect
Exactly how the wisdom tooth extraction goes will depend on a few factors including the position of the teeth, how many teeth need to be removed, and whether you have any other dental or medical problems we need to be aware of.
We will assess your individual situation during your initial consultation, which is a visit before your procedure. During your consultation, we will conduct a full examination and take X-rays to get a complete understanding of what we’re working with.
When you come in for the procedure, we will make sure you’re completely comfortable before working on your teeth. We will use a local anesthetic to completely numb your tooth, gum tissue, and bone to ensure you don’t feel a thing! We work hard to make sure your wisdom tooth extraction is a completely painless procedure.
If you’re still a little nervous about the procedure, we can use nitrous oxide dental sedation, also known as laughing gas, to help ease your anxiety. Nitrous oxide can be inhaled before and even throughout the procedure to make sure you stay relaxed as we work on your teeth.
Learn More About Wisdom Tooth Removal Today
To learn more about wisdom tooth removal, we encourage you to call Overmeyer Family Dental to talk to one of our friendly experts. We’re more than happy to answer any questions you may have and ease any potential concerns. Your health and happiness are our top priorities!