Wisdom tooth extraction refers to a surgical procedure to excise one or more wisdom tooth. These are the four permanent adult teeth located at the back corners of the mouth on the top and bottom.
Dr. Landon D. McLain of McLain Surgical Arts provides oral surgery to patients in Huntsville, Madison, Florence, Decatur, Scottsboro, Cullman, Athens, Alabama, and surrounding communities.
When is Wisdom Tooth Surgery Required?
It will become necessary to have a wisdom tooth pulled out if it does not have room to grow (impacted wisdom tooth) which may be causing infection, pain, or other dental issues. A dentist or an oral surgeon can perform a wisdom tooth extraction.
Even if impacted teeth are not presently causing problems, some dentists and oral surgeons recommend wisdom tooth extraction to prevent any potential issues in the future.
Third molars, or wisdom teeth, are the last permanent teeth to emerge (erupt) in the mouth. These teeth typically erupt between the ages of 17 and 25 years. While some individuals never develop wisdom teeth, these teeth erupt in others normally and do not cause any problems.
Many individuals develop impacted wisdom teeth or teeth that do not have sufficient room to erupt in the mouth or develop in a normal manner. Impacted wisdom teeth may emerge partially or not at all.
An impacted wisdom tooth may present the following:
- Develop at an angle toward the next tooth (the second molar)
- Develop at an angle toward the back of the mouth
- Develop at a right angle to the other teeth appearing as if the wisdom tooth is “lying down” within the jawbone
- Develop straight up or down similar to other teeth but remain trapped within the jawbone
Issues with Impacted Wisdom Teeth
A person will likely need to have their impacted wisdom tooth pulled if it causes issues such as:
- Infection or gum disease (periodontal disease)
- Trapping debris and food behind the wisdom tooth
- Tooth decay in a wisdom tooth that is partially erupted
- Damage to a neighboring tooth or surrounding bone
- Development of a cyst (fluid-filled sac) around the wisdom tooth
- Problems with orthodontic treatments to straighten other teeth
The oral surgeon or dentist may use sedation or anesthesia, depending on the anticipated complexity of the wisdom tooth extraction as well as the patient’s comfort level.
The wisdom tooth extraction procedure is as follows:
- Places an incision in the gum tissue to expose the tooth and bone
- Eliminates the bone that obstructs access to the tooth root
- Divides the tooth into sections if it is easier to eliminate in fragments
- Removes tooth
- Cleans the area of the removed tooth of any debris from the bone or tooth
- Sutures the wound close to encourage healing, but this is not always necessary
- Applies gauze to the extraction area to manage bleeding and help a blood clot develop
The patient should follow the dentist’s instructions on the following as they heal:
The patient may experience some oozing of blood on the first day after the wisdom tooth extraction. They should avoid excessive spitting so as not to dislodge the blood clot from the socket. The patient should replace the gauze over the extraction site as instructed by their dentist or oral surgeon.
The patient may be able to manage pain with OTC pain medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), or a prescription drug from their dentist or oral surgeon.
Prescription pain drugs may be particularly useful if the bone has been excised during the procedure. To relieve pain, the patient can also hold a cold pack against their jaw.
Dr. Landon D. McLain receives patients from Huntsville, Madison, Florence, Decatur, Scottsboro, Cullman, Athens, Alabama, and nearby areas for oral surgery.
McLain Surgical Arts is a leading cosmetic surgery practice headed by Dr. Landon D. McLain MD, DMD, FACS in Huntsville, AL. Dr. McLain is a double board certified cosmetic and oral & maxillofacial surgeon, offering a variety of procedures such as dental implants, wisdom teeth extraction, breast augmentation, liposuction, rhinoplasty, tummy tuck, facelift, Botox, and laser skin resurfacing. For more information or to schedule a consultation call 256.429.3411 or click here.
Now taking patients from Huntsville, Scottsboro, Decatur, Madison, Athens, Florence, Cullman, AL and surrounding areas.