Around 5 million people in the US have had their wisdom teeth removed, creating a yearly expense of $3 billion.
Chances are, you’re one of the Americans who has received this common procedure. Your dentist more than likely removed them because they were disrupting the health of the rest of your teeth. Since our wisdom teeth are the last of our adult teeth to develop, they are often removed during our teens and early adulthood. Some patients wisdom teeth surface without any difficulties. For others, painful symptoms and dental problems follow the development of these teeth.
A wisdom tooth will either be partially or fully impacted. A partially impacted wisdom tooth means that only a bit of the crown is noticeable, and a fully impacted wisdom tooth means that it has struggled to emerge through the gums. Wisdom teeth don't always grow in straight, either. They have been known to develop at angles, backward, and even upside down
Conditions Created by Wisdom Teeth
Third molars, additionally known as impacted wisdom teeth
, rupture at the back of the mouth and fail to develop routinely because there is no room for them to grow. There are some cases where the third molars do not cause any ache or discomfort; regardless, since these teeth are more difficult to maintain, they tend to be more prone to gum disease and tooth decay compared to the other teeth. Oral surgeons will always remove impacted wisdom teeth that are creating difficulties for the patient, and they will also encourage removing the wisdom teeth that aren't currently causing pain under the anticipation that there will be concerns in the future.
So what kind of soreness is linked with impacted wisdom teeth? Here's an outline of some conditions you might encounter:
▪ Painful gums that swell or bleed
▪ Swelling and pain at the jaw
▪ Problems opening the mouth
When wisdom teeth grow in, they can cause further damage to the surrounding teeth. Orthodontic procedures might be scheduled if the incoming wisdom teeth press the other molars forward, creating what is called overcrowding. There is also the possibility of a tumor growing in the mouth-- though it is rare-- and this develops because the wisdom tooth can end up in a fluid-filled sac within the jawbone, provoking a cyst to form. The oral surgeon could have to extract the bordering tissue and bone if this occurs. As we mentioned previously, wisdom teeth are hard to maintain because they are located in the back of the mouth. Along with tooth decay, patients are additionally at risk of an inflammatory gum issue referred to as pericoronitis for these same reasons.
An Average Treatment
Usually, the oral surgeon will remove all four wisdom teeth at the same time, but they might choose to do a few teeth at a time depending on their or the patient's needs. The patient will undergo general anesthesia to eliminate the amount of pain they might experience during the process. Depending on the number of teeth that are being taken out, this surgery can last up to several hours. Some of the most common negative side effects of wisdom teeth removal are swelling and bleeding particularly at the surgery site. These can possibly be managed at home with ice packs and gauze, but if these side effects linger, it is encouraged that the patient seeks out the performing surgeon.
Arguments Against Wisdom Tooth Extraction
A few people claim that removing wisdom teeth is uncalled for and is essentially a way for dentists to charge enormous amounts of money to their patients. Jay W. Friedman, DDS, MPH, has published an article clarifying this point of view and the misconceptions that go along with the eruption of wisdom teeth in developing patients. Obviously, the choice to move forward with wisdom teeth removal or to decide against it is up to the patient. However, we suggest patients make an educated examination of their pain and to consult with Dr. Lechner and his team for instruction when it concerns figuring out the seriousness of impaction.
Dr. Lechner is located in Delaware, Ohio, and his patients can schedule their next appointment online
or by phone at (740)363-8240.