Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Adults develop 32 teeth. The third molars, commonly called the wisdom teeth, are the last of these teeth to erupt, emerging in the late teens to the early 20s. These teeth are also the ones that are most likely to cause oral health complications and severe pain. This is because the wisdom teeth are the most common teeth to become impacted. At Pacific Maxillofacial Center LLC, we can restore your oral health and relieve your discomfort with wisdom tooth extraction.
What Issues Do Wisdom Teeth Cause?
Some people never experience any issues with their wisdom teeth, and they emerge just like the rest of the teeth. However, for most individuals, the wisdom teeth become impacted, which can cause several issues. An impacted tooth is one that does not properly emerge through the gum tissue. Even when wisdom teeth emerge, since they are so far back in the mouth, they are very difficult to clean adequately. For these reasons, wisdom teeth can cause several issues:
Diagnosing Impacted Wisdom Teeth
If you experience any symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth, it is important to seek help quickly for a formal diagnosis. Common symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth include:
Diagnosing impacted wisdom teeth requires a thorough oral exam. First, we visually inspect your mouth, checking your gums for signs of infection. We will also check for partially emerged teeth. Your exam also involves the use of dental x-rays. X-rays allow us to see the structures under your gums, including your developing wisdom teeth, any damage to adjacent teeth, and cysts. If we determine your wisdom teeth are impacted or causing problems, we then make a treatment plan.
Wisdom Tooth Removal
The only way to treat impacted wisdom teeth is to extract them. There are two types of extractions used for removing teeth, simple and surgical. Simple extractions involve the use of forceps to wiggle the tooth back and forth and widen the socket. When the socket is wide enough, the tooth is lifted out.
Most impacted teeth require oral surgery. A surgical extraction is a more complex process that can be done with local anesthetics or with sedation. First, incisions are made in the gum tissue, exposing the impacted teeth and surrounding jawbone. The teeth are then extracted. This may involve removing a small amount of bone or breaking the tooth and removing it in pieces. Once the tooth is completely removed, the area is cleaned. Oftentimes a stitch is left to help with the healing process.
Removing impacted wisdom teeth not only alleviates your pain, but can also help to improve your oral health. Moreover, unlike other teeth that may need to be extracted, wisdom teeth do not need to be replaced. For more information, contact Pacific Maxillofacial Center LLC, today at 808-585-8455.