Three W’s of Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Throughout childhood and into early adulthood, your teeth will erupt in stages: first incisors, then canines, then premolars and molars, and lastly third molars. Third molars are also known as wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth emerge in the very back of the mouth. There is usually four teeth; one wisdom tooth on the top left, top right, bottom left, and bottom right. Some people will have no problems with their wisdom teeth. But wisdom teeth can cause pain, swelling, and infection for many people. When these types of complications occur, it is important for your dentist or oral surgeon to perform a wisdom tooth extraction.
Who Needs a Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Wisdom teeth usually emerge when people are between the age of 17 and 22. As the teeth emerge, it can become quite painful. There may not be room in a person’s mouth for the wisdom teeth which can cause the wisdom teeth to grow in misaligned or sideways, pressing on nerves and bone, and crowding surrounding teeth. As the teeth emerge through the surface of the gums, bacteria may infect the area. The gums can become inflamed, swollen, red, and painful. In some cases, wisdom teeth may be blocked by bones or other teeth and may never emerge. This means the wisdom teeth are impacted. If impacted wisdom teeth begin to cause pain, they may need to be extracted.
What Is a Wisdom Tooth Extraction
The type of extraction will vary depending on if the wisdom teeth are emerged, impacted, or partially impacted. An extraction is straightforward when the teeth are visible, as they can just be removed like any other tooth. An impacted or partially impacted tooth may require surgery. If bone is covering the tooth, that may need to be removed to reach the wisdom tooth. The oral surgeon’s goal would be to preserve as much bone and tissue as possible while removing the wisdom tooth.