Wisdom teeth are the four permanent molars located at the back corners of your mouth. They usually grow after all other adult teeth have erupted and there is limited space in the jaw. As a result, they may not erupt fully, causing pain, infection, or other dental problems. Your oral health professional may recommend Mesa wisdom teeth extractions if your wisdom teeth are problematic. Usually, wisdom teeth require extraction if they cause problems, but asymptomatic impacted teeth may also need to be pulled out to prevent future problems.
What happens during wisdom tooth extraction?
Your dentist may administer local, sedation, or general anesthesia during the procedure. The one, your specialist, uses depends on the expected complexity of the wisdom tooth extraction and your comfort levels. Below are the different types of anesthesia.
- Local anesthesia. Before receiving local anesthesia, your dentist applies topical anesthesia to your gums to desensitize them. Next, they administer the medication with one or more injections near the extraction site. You will feel pressure and movement as the dentist injects the local anesthesia, but this should not be painful.
- Sedation anesthesia. Your provider will place an intravenous line in your arm to administer sedation anesthesia. It suppresses your consciousness so that you will have limited memory of the procedure. Your dentist will also numb your gums with local anesthesia. If you are sedated, you will require pretreatment clearance from your doctor.
- General anesthesia. In some cases, oral surgeons recommend general anesthesia for wisdom tooth extraction. You may inhale the medication or receive it intravenously. General anesthesia makes you unconscious, so that you will be unaware of your surroundings during the procedure. The surgical team monitors your breathing, temperature, and blood pressure to maintain stability. You will still receive local anesthesia to help with post-operative discomfort.
For the procedure, your surgeon makes an incision in the gum tissue, exposing the tooth and bone. Next, the surgeon removes the bone blocking access to the root and divides the tooth into sections for easier removal. After removing all the pieces, the surgeon cleans the site of any debris from the tooth or bone. The wound may be stitched to promote healing, but this is not always necessary. You will have gauze over the extraction site to control bleeding and cause a blood clot to form. If you received local anesthesia only, you would require a brief recovery in the dental chair. But for sedation or general anesthesia, you will stay in the recovery room for some time.
Following your dentist’s post-operative instructions is crucial as you heal from surgery. For example, you need to avoid excessive spitting, so you do not dislodge the blood clot from the socket. Stay hydrated and avoid drinks like alcohol, coffee, carbonated, or hot beverages in the next 24 hours.
The risks of wisdom tooth extraction
It is rare for wisdom tooth extraction to result in long-term complications. However, if your wisdom teeth are deeply impacted, removal requires a surgical approach that involves making an incision in the gum tissue and bone removal. Possible complications include infection in the socket, which may be due to bacteria from trapped food particles. The surrounding nerves, teeth, sinuses, or jawbone may get damaged, and you may also have a painful, dry socket.
If your wisdom teeth are problematic, consult your dentist at ARIZONA DENTAL HEIGHTS to know whether extraction is an option for you.