Extracting Wisdom Teeth

By: David Siegel

The extraction of wisdom teeth, also known as third molars is a common surgical procedure. Your dentist may recommend extraction if your wisdom teeth do not fully erupt, when the alignment of the wisdom teeth damages the adjacent teeth and when a cyst (fluid filled sac) develops.

The most common reason for extraction is that the mouth is too small for wisdom teeth to erupt properly. This may result in a complete bony impaction, when the third molars still in its developmental sac, remain completely covered in bone. This sac may develop into a cyst.

Another consequence is a partial bony impaction, where the teeth only partially erupt. This can lead to gum disease and decay around the adjacent second molars. Some, although not all, dentists also believe that misaligned wisdom teeth may push the other teeth forward, causing misalignment.

As with any surgery, there are complications associated with removal of wisdom teeth. Some of the most common complications are: pain, infection, swelling and bleeding. Pain medication can be prescribed to alleviate pain and prophylactic antibiotics to prevent infection.

There are also complications unique to removal of third molars. The removal of the upper third molars may lead to a communication between the oral cavity and sinus. In this situation, the area is sutured (stitched) and antibiotics and decongestants prescribed. Minor surgery may be required to close the communication.

The removal of the lower third molars may cause the inferior alveolar nerve (the nerve that provides feeling to the lip, teeth and tongue), to become bruised. This may cause a change in sensation, which typically heals itself within 6 months to a year. In very rare cases, the damage is permanent. It is important to note that damage to the nerve does NOT affect mobility.

As with any procedure, the decision to extract wisdom teeth should be made in conjecture with your dentist. You can find an experienced dentists by going through the following steps:

Research local dentists in your area and meet with them personally for a few minutes; Seek a referral from dental associations and dental societies; Search the internet and read up about the dentist's qualifications and specialties.

As with any dental or medical procedure, there are often risks. Talk directly to your dentist to discuss the risks and make whatever efforts you can to minimize those risks. Most importantly, be prepared, educated, informed and aware; the rest is in god's hands.

Share this article :

Most Read
• Wordtracker Wisdom: Common keyword questions and Answers, by John Alexander
• Wisdom to Chew On: Getting Ahead in Dental Office Management, by cathywarschaw
• Unexpected Wisdom: The Drunk on North Avenue, by Mark Meshulam
Top Searches on Dental Surgery
•  Tmj Jaw Pain•  Tmj Ear Pain