Wisdom teeth often need to be removed, as they can cause problems with overcrowding, or become decayed or infected. There are several different methods that can be used to remove wisdom teeth.
Wisdom teeth can be pulled
Wisdom teeth that have fully erupted (completely broken through the gum) can often be extracted just like any other molar. First, the dentist will administer a local anesthetic to prevent pain. Next, he or she will widen the socket to loosen the tooth, then gently pull it out.
Surgical extraction of impacted wisdom teeth
If a tooth is trapped within the gum, or is only partially erupted, the dentist may need to cut open the gum to reach it. A very small incision is made, just big enough to remove the tooth. The dentist may use dissolvable stitches to prevent the incision site from bleeding excessively.
Sometimes, the dentist needs to cut the tooth into sections to remove it from the gum. He or she will use precise surgical tools to split the tooth into pieces that are small enough to remove through a small opening in the gum.
If the tooth is trapped under bone, then the dentist may have to remove some of the bone using a surgical drill. Splitting the tooth into sections, as described above, and help to minimize the amount of bone that needs to be removed to access the tooth.
Types of anesthesia used for wisdom teeth removal
Many patients prefer to sleep through surgical extractions of wisdom teeth. IV sedation can be administered to put you to sleep for the procedure. After the extraction, you will wake up quickly once the dentist removes the IV line in your arm, but you might feel groggy for a while afterwards and should not drive.
If you prefer to stay awake, you will be given local anesthetic to numb the area and prevent pain. You can also have nitrous oxide gas, or oral sedatives, to help you feel relaxed or even slightly drowsy.
Speak to us about it
If you have any concerns about the extraction procedure that will be needed to remove your wisdom teeth, speak to your dentist for more information. The procedure that is used will depend on the position and condition of your tooth.