It might be during a routine teeth cleaning that you hear the bad news: “It looks like your wisdom teeth are coming in.”
Unfortunately, these teeth won’t bring you bouts of wisdom (They typically appear between ages 17 and 25, known as an “age of wisdom” – hence the name), instead they usually require treatment or extraction.
Not everyone develops the third set of molars (about 65% of us do), but the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons reports about 90 percent of people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth, meaning there’s not enough space for it to break through the gums.
If you do have problems with your wisdom teeth, the worst thing you can do is ignore them. The good news is that at Alex Bratic Dental Care, we have all the knowledge and experience necessary to treat any wisdom tooth issue.
Do You Need Your Wisdom Teeth Treated?
Your wisdom teeth, also called third molars, are the last teeth to emerge from your jaw. Because they are the final teeth to emerge they are also the most common teeth to become impacted. This may happen because a wisdom tooth is turned to the side, tilted, or otherwise positioned incorrectly in the jaw. Wisdom teeth also become impacted when there is not enough room in the jaw or the mouth for them to emerge.
An impacted does not necessarily bring pain, and you may not even realize you have one (or several). However, if an impacted wisdom tooth tries to erupt, the gum above may swell and cause pain. A partially erupted tooth can collect food and other debris, which can lead to gum swelling and infection. Impacted teeth also can cause decay or push on the neighboring molar, which can lead to tooth movement or decay, as well as changes in the bite. Impacted teeth also can cause cysts and benign (harmless) jaw tumors. These can lead to bone destruction.
- Swelling of the gum in the back of the mouth or on the side of the jaw
- Difficulty opening the jaw
- Bad breath
- An unpleasant taste in the mouth
- Pain or irritation when you open your mouth
- Pain when chewing or biting
Pain can occur for several days and then disappear for weeks or months before returning.
If you have these kinds of issues, you will likely need to remove these teeth.
What are the Steps in a Removal?
In some cases your dentist will require additional x-rays the day of the procedure.
Once you are numb from the local anaesthetic and the x-rays have been taken, your dentist begins the surgical part of the procedure by removing the gum tissue that covers the tooth.
If the wisdom tooth is impacted, an incision is made in the gum tissue. The tissue is pushed out of the way with a surgical instrument until the tooth is visible. If there is bone covering the wisdom teeth, a tool is used to drill through, and remove the bone over the tooth. If the wisdom tooth has already erupted into your mouth, your dentist will loosen the connective tissue from around the wisdom tooth.
Once impacted wisdom teeth are visible to the dentist, surgical instruments are used to loosen the wisdom tooth from its socket. The same procedure applies for a wisdom tooth that has already erupted. It may be necessary for the dentist to cut the tooth into sections before it is removed. This is done because the tooth is at risk for breaking while it is being removed from the socket.
Once the wisdom tooth is loose, or has been completely sectioned, it is ready for extraction. Your dentist will remove the wisdom tooth with dental instruments that are specifically designed to remove teeth from their sockets.
Once the wisdom teeth are gone, it may be necessary for the dentist to stitch the extraction area closed. This is done for surgically removed impacted wisdom teeth and in cases where the dentist feels the patient will heal better with stitches in place. In most cases these stitches will automatically dissolve away, but in some cases you will have permanent stitches, which require a visit to your Alex Bratic dentist to remove
You dentist will give you some post-operative instructions to follow, along with a small amount of gauze for you to bite down on. Most of these instructions are common-sense, such as not eating or drinking hot foods, avoiding alcohol, and brushing carefully.
Your Trusted Dentist in Beenleigh
Alex Bratic Dental Care is the perfect combination of comfort, convenience and excellent care in Beenleigh. As part of our dedication to our patients, we are also fully committed to an anxiety and pain-free dental experience!
Alex Bratic Dental Care is located on City Road near the Pacific Motorway near Beenleigh Station, with convenient public transport nearby and free onsite parking.