Wisdom teeth is the name given to the third molars. These teeth are the very last to erupt into the oral cavity. Normally, each human being has four wisdom teeth, one belonging to each quadrant – however, the number may vary from patient to patient. The third molars can erupt any time between the ages of 17 and 26.
The reason why third molar surgery is so common in dentistry is primarily the late eruption of these teeth. With the rest of the permanent dentition appearing in the mouth at a relatively earlier stage in life, little or no space is left for the normal eruption of the wisdom teeth. This leads to a condition known in dentistry as ‘impaction’. Dental impaction occurs when a tooth does not have adequate space to erupt into the oral cavity in its normal position, and in the process, causes trauma to the soft tissues and adjacent teeth during eruption. Third molar impactions are quite common around the world. The condition can be mild, causing swelling and discomfort around the soft tissues, or severe, causing damage to the roots of the second molar in addition to other symptoms such as restricted mouth opening and pain.
In such cases, dental surgeons advise removal of the third molar. Depending upon the nature of the impaction, the procedure can either be simple or surgical. Simple removal of the third molar involves the usage of instruments like elevators and forceps to extract the erupted, or partially erupted tooth from the mouth. However, when an impaction is detected on a radiograph prior to the eruption of the third molar, surgical intervention is required. The procedure involves administration of an anesthetic agent to block the innervation of the molar, so as to ensure complete comfort for the patient during surgery. An incision is then made along the arch using a scalpel and blade on the soft tissue to gain access to the underlying tooth. A variety of surgical instruments may then be used to remove the tooth from its socket. Once the procedure has been successfully completed, the socket is closed using sutures that promote swift healing and hemostasis.
At Oral Surgery Specialists of Austin, we are equipped with the latest in dental technology to ensure 100% effective treatments for all dental problems. Learn more about third molars and impactions by giving us a call or booking an appointment with our team of specialists today!