Wisdom Teeth Removal
Wisdom teeth are the third molars in the very back of your mouth. They don’t always need to be removed, but they can cause problems if they are not growing in properly. We provide advanced state-of-the-art oral surgery and wisdom teeth removal.
Wisdom teeth are the last adult teeth to come into the mouth and are commonly referred to as the final (third) set of molars that come in anywhere between the ages of 17 and 25. Most people have four wisdom teeth in the back of their mouth—two on the top and two on the bottom. It’s possible to have wisdom teeth emerge that align behind the second molars without any issues, but it’s uncommon. Most people have their wisdom teeth removed because there isn’t enough spacing for the teeth to develop normally, resulting in crowding and the teeth becoming trapped (impacted).
Wisdom teeth removal is considered a category of oral surgery and they can be removed by your dentist or an oral surgeon. Wisdom teeth removal usually requires a general anesthetic, especially if you are having more than one wisdom tooth pulled at the same time.
At any Finger Lakes Dental location, we can visually examine your wisdom teeth (if they have already erupted) or use X-ray imaging to assess if your wisdom teeth need to be removed. If your wisdom teeth are impacted and need removed, we will setup an appointment to safely and comfortably remove your wisdom teeth.
How do I know if my wisdom teeth need removed?
While every patient is different, there are some common signs that indicate the need to have your wisdom teeth removed. These signs include:
- Impaction (e.g., if the tooth is stuck under the gums or is completely hidden). If wisdom teeth aren’t able to emerge normally, they can become trapped within your jaw which can result in infection or cause a cyst that can damage other teeth or roots.
- Changing bite alignment. Wisdom teeth can grow at various angles in the jaw, sometimes horizontally, this can cause a change in your bit alignment.
- Crowding or damage to existing teeth. This is caused by wisdom teeth not having enough room to come in properly.
- Emerging only partially. If your wisdom teeth are only partially emerged through the gums it can cause a magnet for bacteria that can cause gum disease and oral infection.
Many dentists recommend removing wisdom teeth at an early age, before the roots and bone are fully formed. This helps improve recovery time and reduce potential complications.
What is an impacted wisdom tooth?
An impacted wisdom tooth occurs when the tooth/teeth don’t have enough room in the mouth to grow. There are several degrees of impaction, depending on where the teeth lie within the jaw.
A partially impacted wisdom tooth is when the tooth only emerges slightly, where some of the crown is visible. A fully impacted wisdom tooth occurs when the tooth never break through the gums.
Soft tissue impaction occurs when the crown of the tooth has penetrated through the bone, but the gum is still covering part of the tooth. When the tooth has partially erupted, but a part of the tooth remains submerged in the jawbone, this is considered partially bony impaction. Complete bony impaction occurs when the tooth is entirely encased by jawbone.
Whether a tooth is partially or fully impacted, the tooth may:
- Grow at an angle, facing the next tooth (second molar)
- Grow at an angle, facing the back of the mouth
- Grow at a right angle to the other teeth, as if the wisdom tooth is “lying down” within the jawbone
- Grow straight up or down like teeth normally do, but stay trapped within the jawbone
How do I relieve wisdom tooth pain?
As wisdom teeth grow up through your jawbone and begin to break through your gum line, they may become inflamed or bleed. This can cause headaches or tooth pain. Here are some remedies to relieve wisdom tooth pain:
- Rinse with saltwater
- Use peppermint essential oils or clover oil to soothe pain
- Take aspirin or an over the counter pain reliever
- Apply an ice pack or heating pad to your cheeks
If you have more questions about pediatric dentistry please contact our office and we will be happy to discuss further.