Wisdom teeth, also referred to as third molars, are the last teeth to develop in the mouth. These teeth are large, and there typically isn’t enough room in the mouth to accommodate an extra set of molars. This can cause a wisdom tooth to push and shove its way through the gum line, which threatens the health of nearby teeth.
Other problems that wisdom teeth can cause include:
- Impaction. If a wisdom tooth only partially erupts through the gum, it is considered to be impacted and can lead to infection, swelling, cysts, tumors, and pain.
- Root Damage. Wisdom teeth are large and can grow toward the roots of your other teeth.
- Nerve Damage. The roots of a wisdom tooth are unpredictable, which means they can grow towards your nerves and potentially damage them.
- Cysts and Tumors. If a tooth has partially emerged, bacteria can collect around it. This can lead to cysts, tumors, and uncomfortable swelling.
- Dental Crowding. More teeth pushing their way into the dental arch threatens the alignment of the other teeth, which in turn can threaten the bite and overall oral health.
What are the Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth?
A tooth that becomes trapped beneath the gum line is considered to be impacted and requires oral surgery to safely remove it. In the case of impacted canine teeth, your oral surgeon and orthodontist will work together to help the tooth erupt. Impacted wisdom teeth are simply extracted.
Impacted wisdom teeth don’t always show symptoms. Sometimes, a person can have multiple wisdom teeth and not even know it, although it is very rare for wisdom teeth to develop without causing any problems. If symptoms do arise, you should contact an oral surgeon for an evaluation of your wisdom teeth.
Symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth include
- Swollen or bleeding gums
- Swelling of the jaw
- Ongoing bad breath, indicating infection
- Ongoing headaches or jaw aches
If left untreated, wisdom teeth can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Infection can spread to healthy teeth, which pose a threat to overall oral health. Visiting your dentist regularly for X-rays and scans will help to catch impacted wisdom teeth early and schedule a timely removal.
- Easier cleaning. Without wisdom teeth poking through the gums, it is easier to brush your teeth and ensure there are no pockets of bacteria in hard-to-reach places.
- Avoid overcrowding. By removing these molars that try to shove their way into the dental arch, you can maintain the natural alignment of your teeth and bite.
- Protect the health of your teeth and nerves. Wisdom teeth are unpredictable and can damage nearby teeth and nerves.
The Wisdom Tooth Removal Process
During your consultation, we will take detailed 3D CBCT scans
of your mouth. Our office also utilizes advanced sterilization
equipment for our surgical instruments, which reduces the risk of cross-contamination. Generally, the procedure for removing wisdom teeth takes between 30 and 60 minutes, depending on the number of wisdom teeth and your choice of anesthesia or sedation
Your doctor will make a small incision in your gum and remove the wisdom tooth. If the tooth is large, it may need to be broken into smaller pieces in order to be removed. When all of the wisdom teeth have been extracted, your doctor will stitch the incisions closed. You will rest comfortably in our office until the anesthesia wears off. Please remember that if you are undergoing general anesthesia, a responsible adult must be present in the office during your procedure and drive you home after.
Recovery is different for everyone, but you can expect to rest for the remainder of the day. Plan on sticking to soft foods, and follow your post-operative instructions
closely to ensure a speedy recovery.
How Much Does it Cost to Remove Wisdom Teeth? And Other Questions
The price of this procedure varies depending on a number of factors. For example, the cost depends on the number of teeth that need to be removed, insurance details, and choice of anesthesia
By visiting our state-of-the-art Naperville, IL, office, you get peace of mind in knowing that you and your family’s oral health is taken care of. Dr. Joshua Foxson
is an experienced oral surgeon who has undergone extensive training in identifying, evaluating, and safely extracting wisdom teeth. We take the time to answer your questions regarding treatment and will guide you through recovery with our helpful and detailed post-operative instructions.