Impacted Wisdom Teeth
While growing older lends itself to better wisdom and life experience, it also brings another kind of wisdom that many people would rather avoid. Wisdom teeth, which usually grow between the ages of 17 and 25, are the last set of teeth to develop. In some people, however, they tend to become impacted, giving immense pain as they erupt.
At Oral Surgery Specialists of Austin, we take these painful teeth quite seriously. Although impacted wisdom teeth rarely cause any severe medical issues, the pain can still reduce a person’s quality of life. That is one of the reasons why we recommend wisdom tooth extraction for a pained patient.
Do Wisdom Teeth Always Hurt?
While it is quite a common belief, not all wisdom teeth would grow to become painful. In fact, it is quite rare to have all four wisdom teeth to get impacted. Some people may even grow a full set without feeling any pain at all. In others, erupting wisdom teeth may only give a slight pain and fever. These are quite manageable with modern pain relievers and home remedies.
Why We Surgically Remove Impacted Wisdom Teeth
However, some people definitely need to have their wisdom teeth removed. The term “impacted wisdom tooth” refers to third molars that are unable to grow out of the gums as normal wisdom teeth do. These tend to grow away from a vertical angle and hit the next tooth as it grows.
Impacted wisdom teeth become painful because the nerve endings in this other tooth could feel the movement. While it does not usually harm the other tooth, it does cause a tremendous amount of pain.
When it comes to removing impacted wisdom teeth, many patients wonder why and how they are extracted. Mainly, the reason why we remove impacted wisdom teeth is that they are hard to clean. Pericoronitis is a condition in which the gum tissue above the wisdom tooth becomes inflamed. Bacteria tend to move into the small tears of the partially opened gum to breed and live on the surface of the impacted tooth. When left on its own, pericoronitis can last for a lifetime, unless the wisdom tooth has been removed.
Removing Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Unlike a regular tooth removal, extracting impacted wisdom teeth takes more preparation and preoperative examination on our side. From an oral surgeon perspective, we would need a dental x-ray of the wisdom tooth and possibly a few more tools depending on the situation to help facilitate it.
In general, we would need to cut your gums open and extract the impacted wisdom tooth underneath it. However, some people have larger teeth. During these situations, we use a milling cutter and dental grinder to cut these up into smaller sizes. This makes it easier to move around, letting us dislodge them and eventually remove them from your mouth. Afterward, we would seal your gums with sutures, and give you pain relievers and antibiotics for postoperative care.
Should You Get Yours Removed?
Removing impacted wisdom teeth is a tricky process, but one that our team performs on a regular basis with skill and compassionate care. The procedure is best done when diagnosed as soon as possible.
If you are interested in discussing impacted wisdom teeth with our skilled team of dental surgery experts, please visit us at Oral Surgery Specialists of Austin or give us a call at (512) 351-7653 to schedule an appointment today!