Wisdom teeth are located all the way back in the jaw near the jaw joints, and they’re the last teeth to emerge from the gums. Once they erupt, the other teeth are already in place, and often there’s not enough room to accommodate them. As a result, they tend to come in crooked or sideways or even become “stuck” or impacted under neighboring teeth, causing pain and threatening the health of these other teeth. Removing wisdom teeth can prevent damage to these other teeth and preserve better oral health. Even when wisdom teeth come in straight, their location can make them very difficult to keep clean, making them a harbor for bacteria that can cause decay and gum disease. Removing these teeth can prevent these issues from occurring so the teeth and gums stay healthier.
Wisdom teeth have deep roots, and their removal requires special oral surgery techniques to access the roots and ensure all the tissue is removed. The procedure may be performed using sedation to enable the patient to doze throughout the procedure and to eliminate the sensations of discomfort. During the procedure, small incisions are made into the gums to access the tooth root and completely remove the tooth. Once the tooth is removed, the incisions will be closed and a temporary dressing may be applied to protect the area in the very early stages of healing.
The sedation techniques used in wisdom teeth removal procedures results in feelings of sleepiness and sometimes mild feelings of nausea. Patients will need someone to drive them home afterward and should plan to rest and nap the rest of the day. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to treat any residual discomfort and in some cases, prescription pain relievers may be prescribed. Patients will be provided with complete instructions on how to care for the extraction site to promote optimal healing.
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