Wisdom Tooth Extraction - Costs and Recovery
What is Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
The wisdom teeth are a set of teeth that can be found behind the molars in many people. These teeth often remain lodged in the gum and do not begin to develop. However, if they show signs of growing in, many dentists and oral maxillofacial surgeons recommend having them removed in order to avoid potential jaw problems and pain. This is done by wisdom tooth extraction surgery.
How does Wisdom Tooth Extraction work?
The process of wisdom tooth extraction is similar to a standard tooth extraction in many ways. There are a number of potentially complicating factors, however. If the wisdom teeth have become impacted, meaning that they have begun to grow into the line of teeth, extraction may be more difficult.
What is this procedure used for?
While some people may experience no pain or other complications as a result of a wisdom tooth growing in, most people will suffer from shifts to their existing teeth and jaw pain. This procedure is used to eliminate such complications or to prevent them from occurring, if the wisdom teeth have not yet begun to grow in.
Who is a candidate for Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
Wisdom teeth can be removed at virtually any age, though most patients are above the age of puberty and not yet adults. In many situations, dentists and oral surgeons will recognize that a patient has wisdom teeth, but those teeth will not require extraction because they show no signs of potentially growing in and causing complications. If the teeth do begin to move, however, surgery is often required. Patients who are suffering from other types of infections are generally not allowed to have their wisdom teeth extracted, because the surgery poses a risk of infection and the potential side effects can exacerbate the existing condition.
How is Wisdom Tooth Extraction performed?
The procedure will begin with either a local or a general anesthetic. Local anesthetics are typically used to remove a single tooth or a pair of wisdom teeth, while general anesthetics are more commonly used if four wisdom teeth are present. The dentist will then make incisions in the gum to open it up and expose the tooth. To remove the tooth, the dentist must first remove any bone that exists on top of the tooth. In some cases, the dentist will need to cut the wisdom tooth into smaller pieces to make it easier to extract. The dentist will then close the incision with stitches.
What is the recovery like?
Following a wisdom tooth extraction surgery, you'll be required to limit your food intake to avoid foods that require chewing. You will also need to avoid using a straw, as the sucking motion can dislodge the sutures. You'll be required to regularly change out the gauze that covers the stitches and to periodically apply ice to the affected area. The recovery typically requires that you take a pain relief medication and antibiotics to prevent secondary infection.
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