What are Wisdom Teeth and When Do They Need Extraction?

Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that most adults have. Most adults get them in their late teens or early twenties and more often than not, they need to be removed. In rare occasions, there is enough room in the mouth to accommodate the extra set of teeth and the teeth grow in straight, properly aligned. These types of patients do not require wisdom tooth extraction. There are also some people who don’t have wisdom teeth, or not all four.

In other cases, the wisdom teeth are misaligned or positioned horizontally, or at an awkward angle. When the teeth have poor alignment, it can cause the rest of your teeth to crowd or cause damage to the jawbone or nerves.

There are other instances where the teeth become impacted which means they are enclosed within the jawbone or soft tissue with only a partial eruption through the gum. The partial eruption leaves just enough room for bacteria to enter and infect the tooth. Impacted teeth can cause swelling, pain, and stiffness they feel incredibly uncomfortable. Wisdom teeth that are partially erupted also have a higher risk of gum disease.

young woman smiling with teeth against blue background

Signs You Need Wisdom Tooth Extraction

If you don’t visit the dentist regularly, you might not know when your wisdom teeth begin to grow in. Dental x-rays will show your wisdom teeth trying to erupt, their alignment, or presence. If you haven’t visited the dentist in a while, you will notice a few symptoms if your wisdom teeth are growing in and need extraction.

  • Jaw pain
  • Bad breath
  • Tender, swollen, or bleeding gums
  • Difficulty opening mouth
  • A stiff or swollen jaw

These are common signs of impacted wisdom teeth. If your teeth are not impacted, you might notice a new tooth growing in at the back of your mouth. If you notice any signs that your wisdom teeth might be growing in, it’s important to visit Dr. Urbanek at StarImage Dental Boutique & Oral Surgery to find out if you need a wisdom tooth extraction. If you don’t get an extraction soon enough when you require one, it can result in an infection, serious pain, or damage to the rest of your teeth.

Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure Overview

If we determine that you need wisdom tooth extractions, we will first take a CT scan of your jaw. The scan will help us plan your extraction to make the procedure as minimally invasive as possible. To help you feel comfortable, we will provide you with one of our sedation dentistry options to keep you relaxed the entire time. It’s important to arrange for a ride to and from your appointment because the sedation inhibits your ability to drive.

Each case might involve a different procedure process. For instance, if your tooth is impacted, we will need to cut the gums in order to retrieve the tooth. In all cases, we will extract each tooth in several pieces to prevent the destruction of adjacent tissue and nerves. This makes the procedure less traumatic and influences a faster recovery time. Some patients may only require a coronectomy (removal of the crown) if the molar is fully developed.

Following your wisdom tooth extraction, you will need to take at least a few days off work to recover. Most patients require prescription pain medications to make their recovery more comfortable. We also recommend applying ice to your face and eating soft foods during recovery. We will provide you with a complete list of aftercare instructions before and after your procedure.

If you need a wisdom tooth extraction in Southlake, TX, please call (817) 587-4414 to book a consultation with Dr. Urbanek at StarImage Dental Boutique & Oral Surgery today.