Dental Procedures


What are Wisdom Teeth and What is the Removal Process?

Wisdom teeth are the third molars present on each side of your upper and lower jaws. They are the last teeth that erupt in your mouth and usually appear in your late teens or early twenties. But why are they called as wisdom teeth? Well, these teeth come in usually between ages of 17 and 21 years which is likely the age when a person attains maturity and wisdom and therefore they have been named so.


Many people don't have enough space in their mouth for wisdom teeth to get erupted, and this creates a lot of problems like pain and discomfort, infections, gum disease and even tooth decay. If your wisdom teeth are impacted and embedded in the bone, then it has to be removed by surgery. Otherwise, it can create problems in the adjacent teeth also. Impacted teeth are blocked from growing properly. Having an impacted wisdom tooth that slightly grows can be challenging to keep as it will provide a space for plaque and bacteria to accumulate and hence can lead to cavities formation and oral infection.


Wisdom teeth removal is a surgical procedure to remove one or more third molars. Extraction of wisdom teeth is done either by a dentist or an oral surgeon. Usually, dentists recommend wisdom teeth extraction even if impacted teeth aren't causing problems, as a preventive measure against potential future problems.

Removal of wisdom teeth is almost always conducted as an outpatient procedure, which means that you go home the same day. Before starting the process of removal, you'll be given an injection of local anesthetic which will numb the tooth to be extracted and its surrounding area.

If you're anxious about the procedure, then the surgeon may give you a sedative which will make you relax. It normally involves an injection into your arm. General anesthesia is rarely necessary. When it's needed, your wisdom tooth will be removed in hospital, although you could still go home on the day of the procedure.

During the extraction of wisdom tooth, your dentist or oral surgeon will do the following steps:

1. Makes a small cut or incision in your gum, to expose the tooth and bone

2. Removes small piece of bone that blocks access to the tooth

3. Divides the tooth into sections if it's easier to remove in parts

4. Removes the tooth

5. Cleans the extracted site from any debris of the tooth or bone

6. Closes the wound by dissolving stitches to promote healing, although this is not always necessary

7. Places gauze over the extraction site and ask you to maintain pressure on it by keeping your jaws together for almost an hour. It will control bleeding and allow a blood clot to form in the empty tooth socket.

As you heal from your tooth surgery, follow your doctor's instructions and for the first 24 hours after surgery, you should avoid:

1. Brushing your teeth, rinsing your mouth, spitting or using a mouthwash

2. Drinking alcohol, smoking and chewing tobacco

3. Hot drinks or liquids such as tea or soup

4. Vigorous physical activity or exercise

Problems with wisdom teeth usually end up with their removal. If your wisdom tooth is creating pain or trouble, then visit your dentist today as early treatment can reduce your risk of bigger problems tomorrow.


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