Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last of a set of permanent teeth to erupt and usually appear between the ages of 17 and 25. For some people, wisdom teeth never need to be extracted.
For others, their wisdom teeth may require extraction due to crowding in the mouth, malpositioned tooth alignment, or impacted growth.
In this post, we will discuss how the extracting process works for single or multiple wisdom teeth.
What are wisdom teeth and why do they need to be extracted?
Wisdom teeth are the last set of adult molars to come in, usually emerging between the ages of 17 and 25. They are so-called because they traditionally appear at a time in life when people have achieved “wisdom”.
However, for some people, these teeth may not emerge or may become impacted due to a lack of room in a person’s mouth, misalignment, or other factors.
In cases such as these, wisdom teeth will need to be extracted through a surgical procedure.
The process of extracting either one or multiple wisdom teeth
Extracting wisdom teeth can involve either simple or complex procedures, depending on the circumstances.
If a tooth is not impacted and is relatively straightforward to remove, it is usually an easier process. However, if a tooth is impacted or has curved roots, the dentist may need to take extra care in order for an extraction to be successful.
In cases wherein multiple teeth need to be removed, the process is slightly more complicated and may require additional steps such as cutting into the gum line and repositioning of adjacent teeth.
Steps involved in single tooth extraction
Extracting a single wisdom tooth is usually considered a relatively simple procedure. The first step is numbing the area around the tooth with anesthetic, to ensure the patient does not feel any pain during the extraction.
Next, the dentist will use special tools to loosen and remove the tooth from its socket.
Lastly, stitches may be necessary depending on the severity of the procedure or in order to help speed up healing.
Steps involved in multiple tooth extraction
Extracting multiple wisdom teeth is a more complex process that may require additional steps depending on the circumstances.
First, the dentist will use an anesthetic to numb the area around the impacted teeth. Then, they will loosen and remove each tooth individually.
If necessary, they may need to cut into the gum line or reposition adjacent teeth in order to complete the extraction successfully.
Finally, stitches may be needed in order to help speed up healing and reduce discomfort.
Aftercare of wisdom teeth extraction
After wisdom tooth extraction, it is important to follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions closely.
This includes avoiding strenuous activities for a few days, taking pain medication as prescribed, and washing the mouth with warm salt water regularly to minimize swelling and reduce discomfort.
It is also important not to smoke or drink alcohol until healing is complete. Doing so could adversely affect the recovery process.
Possible complications of wisdom teeth extraction
Extracting wisdom teeth may sometimes lead to complications, such as bleeding, nerve damage, dry socket formation, and infection.
Bleeding may occur after the extraction and can usually be controlled with gauze or a tea bag placed on the site.
Nerve damage can occur if a root is not properly removed or accidentally scraped during the procedure.
Dry socket formation is caused by exposed bone in the jaw due to clotted blood being dislodged from the socket after extraction. Infections may develop due to bacteria entering the wound and should be discussed with a doctor if any signs of infection are present.
Extracting single or multiple wisdom teeth is typically more involved than extracting other types of teeth.
The process involves making an incision into the gum and exposing the tooth, severing it from surrounding ligaments, then removing it from the socket.
If more than one tooth needs to be removed, each will be handled individually in order to prevent causing harm to neighbor teeth.
Recovery time varies depending on the complexity of the extraction, but patients should always follow their dentist’s instructions for aftercare to ensure proper healing.