Wisdom Teeth Extraction is one of the most common procedures performed at dental clinics around the world. Wisdom Teeth, also known as the third molars, are the very last teeth to erupt in the oral cavity. There is one located in each quadrant, at the far back of the dentition; therefore there are two each in the upper and lower arches, and a total of four in the mouth. In some cases, the wisdom teeth are congenitally absent.
Because there are the very last teeth to appear in the mouth (between the ages of 17 and 25), there is often no space left in the arches to accommodate their normal, straight eruption. Due to this lack of space, most wisdom teeth become impacted, that is, they erupt in angulated direction instead of erupting upward and outward, often damaging adjacent teeth in the process.
Wisdom teeth impaction can cause a number of problems for the patient; these include:
- Pain and swelling in the region
- Inability to chew food from the affected side
- Limited mouth opening, also known as Trismus
- Jaw stiffness
- Gum bleeding and tenderness
- Halitosis, or bad breath
The impaction of the wisdom teeth can be diagnosed before they erupt, with the help of digital radiographs. These x-rays show the positon of the tooth in the gum, and its relation to the adjacent tooth. Based on these findings, dental surgeons can create a treatment plan for the extraction. There are two ways in which wisdom teeth can be removed; simple extraction and surgical extraction.
Simple extraction can be performed with the help of instruments such as elevators and forceps only, when the crown of the tooth is visible in the oral cavity. However, when the tooth is still in the gum, the only way to gain access to it, is via surgical extraction. This procedure involves incisions, and the use of certain other surgical instruments to remove the third molar without damaging the adjacent tooth.
Learn more about third molars and why it is important to remove them if they are impacted by giving us a call today – we’ll be happy to help you!