The Wisdom Tooth Removal

The Wisdom Tooth Removal

Wisdom teeth are third molars. Normally people have three permanent molars that develop in each quadrant of the mouth. The third molars usually will try to grow in at around age 18 to 20 years.

Wisdom teeth are actually no different than any other tooth except that they are the last teeth to erupt. They are just as useful as any other tooth if they grow in properly, have a proper bite relationship, and have healthy gum tissue around them. Unfortunately, this does not always happen.

When wisdom teeth are not erupting into the mouth properly, they are referred to as impacted teeth. A dentist must examine a patient's mouth and corresponding x-rays to determine if the teeth are impacted or will not erupt properly. Impacted teeth may cause problems. Here are several common problems that occur when the impacted wisdom teeth are not removed:

  • bacteria and plaque build-up
  • decay of adjacent teeth
  • formation of cysts (a fluid- filled sac) or tumors from follicle
  • tumor development
  • infection
  • jaw and gum disease

Erupted wisdom teeth may need to be removed. The dentist may recommend wisdom tooth removal if wisdom tooth:

  • interferes with the bite
  • non-functional
  • badly decayed
  • involved with or at risk for periodontal disease
  • interferes with restoration of an adjacent tooth

Every case is different and only your dentist can determine if there is a reason for you to have a tooth removed.  

Symptoms of Wisdom Tooth Removal

The following symptoms may indicate that the wisdom teeth have erupted and surfaced. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • pain
  • infection in the mouth
  • facial swelling
  • swelling of the gum line in the back of the mouth

Many oral health specialists will recommend removal of the wisdom teeth, (when the roots are approximately formed, or three-fourths developed, usually in the adolescent years), as early removal will help to eliminate problems, such as an impacted tooth that destroys the second molar. Third molar impaction is the most prevalent medical developmental disorder.

Procedure for Wisdom Tooth Removal

1. First Evaluation and diagnosis

  • An oral examination to determine if a tooth extraction is really warranted
  • X-ray(s) may be taken of the tooth to evaluate both the internal aspects of the tooth, the tooth root and bone
  • Relevant medical histories are recorded. Do ensure that you report to your dentist any problems with any previous tooth extractions, bleeding problems, medical conditions or allergies to medications and supplements

2. Site tooth preparation

  • Local anesthetize is given to "numb up" the tooth, jawbone and surrounding gums
  • Wisdom tooth removal
  • Connective tissue between the tooth and the bone are removed

3. Wisdom Tooth is removed

  • Stitch up to close surgical site

Recovery Expectations

For simple normal tooth extraction, the patient is simply sent home and the tooth site left to heal. Bleeding should stop after the first few hours. You may follow your regular daily activities, avoiding excessive exertion typed of activities such as exercising or sunbathing.

Postoperative care Instructions after Tooth Wisdom Extractions

  • Use cold compress for 12-24 hours right after the surgery
  • Bite the gauze firmly for a full 1-2 hour to stop bleeding. If bleeding persists, change to new gauze and continue biting firmly until the bleeding stops
  • Do not use mouthwash for 24 hours after oral surgery
  • If mild bleeding occurs, hold cold salt water in the mouth until it warms to body temperature
  • Do not rinse for 12 hours
  • After 12 hours you may rinse with a solution of tea spoonful of salt in a glass of warm water
  • Brush your teeth as usual, but do not brush the wound
  • Take only soft, non-spicy and cold foods, if possible, for 2- 3 days
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol
  • Mild pain can be controlled with pain relieve medications as directed by your dentist