WISDOM TEETH REMOVAL
Your wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last of your teeth to erupt. Years and years ago, they used to function as a way to help our ancestors chew through coarse leaves, nuts, and tough meats. Back then, human jaws were bigger than they are today. Now, wisdom teeth are classified as vestigial organs. They still develop, but they serve no purpose. For some, wisdom teeth grow in without issue. However, for many others, they pose significant problems. For those patients who have painful wisdom teeth, National Dental East Meadow can help with wisdom teeth removal.
PROBLEMS WITH YOUR WISDOM TEETH
There are some people who are fortunate enough to never experience any issues with their wisdom teeth. They simply emerge just like any other tooth would. However, for most other people, the wisdom teeth cause serious problems. One of the biggest issues faced by adults in their late teens to early twenties is impacted teeth.
An impacted tooth is one that cannot emerge through the gum tissue. It may not emerge because it is blocked, or it may be growing in at an angle. Impacted teeth can lead to several serious issues:
- Pericoronitis. Pericoronitis is a localized infection that can occur at the site of a partially emerged wisdom tooth. These teeth are hard to keep clean, which means bacteria can build up, causing the infection.
- Cysts. A cyst can form as a result of impacted teeth. A cyst is a fluid-filled sac that continues to grow when it goes untreated. In the process, it can cause damage to your jawbone.
- Overcrowding. If there is insufficient space for wisdom teeth to emerge, the teeth can put pressure on adjacent teeth, pushing them out of alignment. This can eventually affect all of your teeth.
- Tooth damage. Wisdom teeth growing sideways can grow into existing teeth, causing serious damage that can lead to a tooth infection.
HOW ARE ISSUES DIAGNOSED?
Impacted teeth need to be treated. First, however, they must be diagnosed. We visually inspect the interior of your mouth, checking for signs of infection or other issues. Digital X-rays are also taken so that we can see what is happening below the gum line (if your teeth are growing crooked, if there is a cyst, or if there are any other issues). X-rays also provide us the ability to make the best possible treatment plan for you.
TREATING YOUR WISDOM TEETH
When wisdom teeth need to be extracted, there are two ways in which it can be done: a simple extraction or a surgical extraction. A simple extraction involves the use of forceps. After a local anesthetic is administered, the tooth is gripped and moved back and forth, widening the socket. The tooth is then lifted out.
In most cases, impacted wisdom teeth require a surgical extraction. We first administer a local anesthetic (and sedation, if necessary). Incisions are made in the gum tissue, exposing the tooth and the jawbone. We then work to remove the tooth. If the bone is blocking the way, it is also removed. We may need to break the tooth and remove it in sections to fully extract it. Once done, your surgical sites are stitched closed, and you can begin to heal. We will provide you with instructions to make sure the process goes smoothly.
If you are experiencing significant pain at the back of your jaw, and suspect you might have an issue with your wisdom teeth, contact National Dental East Meadow today at (516) 962-2292 to schedule your consultation.