These troublesome molars begin to appear in a person’s middle to late teen age years or “the age of wisdom”. Most wisdom teeth become impacted (blocked from emerging normally into the mouth) causing problems such as pain, infection, tooth decay, crowding of other teeth, cyst formation and damage to adjacent teeth.
Surgery to remove wisdom teeth can be done in our office to eliminate these problems. In most cases, the patients return to normal activities in a few days.
REMOVAL OF IMPACTED TEETH
Most people go back to work/school in 2-3 days, however, it depends on how you feel and the physical nature of your activities. It may take a gradual progression of 7-10 days to get back to peak performance in physical activities.
- WHAT IS AN IMPACTED TOOTH? All teeth are formed deep within the jawbones. They usually erupt into the mouth. When a tooth is blocked from reaching its normal position by another tooth or bone, it is called an impacted tooth.
- WHY SHOULD IMPACTED TEETH BE REMOVED? If not removed most impacted teeth will eventually cause a problem. One of the most common problems is infection of the gum tissues around the tooth (pericoronitis). This infection is always painful and can potentially spread throughout the head and neck. If the impacted tooth becomes exposed to the oral environment (gum pockets present), then gum (periodontal) disease may spread to other teeth. Other common problems associated with impacted teeth include decay of the tooth under the gum, damage to the roots of adjacent teeth, and formation of cysts. Pain, infection and destruction of bone in the area can be the result. In addition, they may cause crowding of teeth and orthodontic relapse.
- WHEN SHOULD IMPACTED TEETH BE REMOVED? Younger patients (about 13-17 years old) usually have fewer problems associated with this type of surgery. They are less likely to develop dry sockets, sinus injuries, numb lips, and gum defects around adjacent teeth. This is because the roots are shorter and the bone is softer (more bone marrow). Therefore, once impacted teeth are diagnosed, they should be removed at the earliest convenient time.
- HOW ARE IMPACTED TEETH REMOVED? The procedure for removing these teeth requires an incision in the gum, exposing and removing the bone around the tooth, and, often, sectioning the tooth into smaller pieces.