Third molars are the last to develop, typically emerging during the late teens to early twenties. However, by the time the teeth are ready to emerge, few patients have the space to accommodate extra teeth in their arch. As a result, the wisdom teeth can become stuck in bone or in soft tissue, an issue known as impaction. The tooth can then begin growing at the incorrect angle, pushing against neighboring teeth and moving them from their position. Impacted wisdom teeth can be extremely uncomfortable, make it difficult for patients to practice effective oral hygiene, and cause teeth to begin shifting.
In some instances, wisdom tooth or teeth are able to emerge part way. Known as a partial impaction, this condition can have lasting consequences on an individual’s oral health. If the tooth has pushed through the gums, gum tissue may grow over it, creating a flap where bacteria and debris can become trapped. This can lead to the development of periodontal disease, as well as tooth infection and abscesses. With these conditions in mind, extracting partial and fully impacted teeth is critical to helping patients maintain their long-term oral health and function.
Extraction is a straight-forward, outpatient procedure. At Gies Family Dental, we use advanced diagnostic tools to determine the position of impacted wisdom teeth and create an extraction treatment plan. During this initial consultation, we will also cover the post-treatment recovery process, helping patients understand what they can expect as they heal and provide instructions for at-home care.
On the day of extraction, patients can opt for oral sedation to help them remain relaxed. During the actual procedure, a small incision is made in the gums to create an access point for the teeth to be extracted. Depending on the position of the teeth, the molars may be divided into smaller pieces for easier extraction.
Once the teeth have been removed, patients are free to be driven home by a friend or family member. About seven to ten days following the procedure, patients return for a post-operative visit to ensure successful recovery and have any remaining stitches removed.
At Gies Family Dental, we strive to make the extraction and recovery process as comfortable and successful as possible. To learn more about the importance of proactive wisdom teeth extraction, contact us today!