Wisdom teeth are the targets of almost every elective tooth extraction, and it’s often the initial reason that prompts a patient to consult with an oral surgeon. These teeth are often removed proactively to prevent the multiple problems that can arise from an impacted third molar, such as discomfort, development of abscesses, cysts and tumors and damage to surrounding teeth, among other issues.
Although this procedure is routine, patients still may have questions and concerns about oral surgery in general, as well as wisdom teeth extraction specifically. Here is an overview of some important facts about wisdom tooth removal.
- Wisdom tooth extraction is a common procedure. Millions of patients have at least one wisdom tooth removed each year, and most of those extractions occur prior to the onset of any symptoms of impacted teeth. An oral surgeon can evaluate your case and determine the likelihood that you will develop problems in the future and make an extraction recommendation based on that.
- Surrounding bone may need to be removed in order to access the teeth. The procedure is completed surgically because the surrounding bone must be removed before the tooth can be extracted.
- Patients will ideally have their wisdom teeth removed prior to age 25. The roots of the wisdom teeth are shorter and can be removed more easily in younger patients. This usually results in a shorter, less eventful recovery, as well.
- Sedation can be used to improve patient comfort during the procedure. Local anesthetic is used at the site of extraction, but many patients opt for sedation to make the treatment go as smoothly as possible. Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for the sedation if need be.
- There is a risk of post-operative complications, but you can take steps to reduce the likelihood that you’ll develop any problems. The most common concerns are dry sockets and post-op infections, but you can prevent these issues by closely following your surgeon’s instructions, such as avoiding drinking straws and smoking and keeping the extraction site clean using safe techniques.
Don’t let misconceptions about wisdom teeth extractions frighten you. We encourage you to ask any questions that you may have, or be sure to discuss any concerns with your surgeon prior to the procedure.
Contact our office today to schedule a consultation!