Wisdom Teeth Removal
Your wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last of your molars to erupt. They often show up in your late teens to early 20s, which is how they have earned their name. These teeth are also the most likely to cause serious pain and other problems. At Raptou Family Dental, we can restore the health to your mouth, and alleviate your pain, with wisdom tooth removal.
A Brief History
Many, many years ago, the wisdom teeth served a very important purpose. The human jaw was larger, which allowed for comfortable accommodation of the third molars. The diet of our ancestors was very different from what we eat today. The wisdom teeth were required to chew and break down a variety of very coarse foods. With the invention of cooking, the coarseness of most foods was reduced. The human jaw became smaller, and the wisdom teeth were no longer essential. Today, anthropologists consider them to be vestigial organs.
Causes of Wisdom Tooth Pain
For the many people who are faced with wisdom tooth pain, this pain can be severe. The most common cause of tooth pain is impacted wisdom teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth are simply those that won’t emerge properly through your gum tissue. They may be blocked, or they may be at an angle. Impacted wisdom teeth cause some serious issues, all of which can lead to serious pain:
|| Overcrowding. Our jaw is smaller than our ancestors, yet we still develop the same number of teeth. For many patients, there simply is not enough room in the mouth for the third molars. As they attempt to emerge, they push against your existing teeth, forcing them out of alignment.
||Cysts. Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can form as a result of impacted teeth. Untreated, they continue to grow, destroying your bone mass as they do.
||Damage to adjacent teeth. When your wisdom teeth grow at an angle, they can grow right into the adjacent teeth. This can cause serious damage to these teeth, such as fractures. The fractures can weaken your adjacent teeth, and leave them susceptible to infection.
||Pericoronitis. There are some cases in which your wisdom teeth only partially erupt. If this happens, the area can be very difficult to keep clean. Oral bacteria can build up and cause a localized infection known as pericoronitis.
Diagnosing Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth are diagnosed with a thorough oral exam. First, we inspect the interior of your mouth. We look at your gums for signs of redness and swelling (which would indicate an infection). We will also take digital x-rays. These images will allow us to see underneath your gums. We can see the development of your wisdom teeth and if they are colliding with your adjacent teeth. We can also diagnose any cysts that might be present. If your wisdom teeth are impacted, we will then make a customized treatment plan for extraction.
Removing Your Impacted Wisdom Teeth
There are two types of extractions used for teeth. The first, known as a simple extraction, is a straightforward procedure. After a local anesthetic, the tooth is gripped and moved back and forth, widening the periodontal ligament. When the ligament is wide enough, the tooth is pulled out.
In most cases, impacted wisdom teeth require surgical extraction. A local anesthetic is administered, along with sedation if needed. We then make incisions in your gums to expose the tooth and the bone. We get to work removing the tooth. This may involve the removal of a small amount of bone. In some cases, the tooth may need to be broken first, and removed in sections. Once the tooth is completely removed, the space is cleaned, and your gums stitched closed.
Learn More About Wisdom Teeth:
If your wisdom teeth are causing your problems, extractions may be necessary. Call Raptou Family Dental to schedule your appointment today.