Around 5 million Americans have had their wisdom teeth extracted, accruing at a yearly expense of $3 billion.
It's likely that you are one of the men or women who has received this routine surgery. Your dentist more than likely pulled your wisdom teeth because they were interrupting the health of the rest of your teeth. Our wisdom teeth are the last of our grown-up teeth to develop, and they are often pulled during our teens and early young adulthood. For some people, their wisdom teeth surface without any complications or difficulties. For others, painful symptoms and dental problems come with the emergence of these teeth.
A wisdom tooth will 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 not ruptured through the patient's gums. Wisdom teeth don't always grow in straight. They have been known to come in at angles, backward, and even upside down.
Difficulties Caused by Wisdom Teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, appear at the back of the mouth and fail to form because there is no room for them to develop. There are some cases where the third molars do not cause any distress or trouble; however, since these teeth are more difficult to clean, they tend to be more vulnerable to gum disease and tooth decay when compared to the rest of the teeth. Oral surgeons will always take out impacted wisdom teeth that are leading to complications for the patient, and they will also recommend removing the wisdom teeth that aren't currently causing pain under the precaution that there will be problems in the future.
So what kind of inconvenience is identified with impacted wisdom teeth? Here's a list of some signs you might suffer from:
▪ Gums that bleed or swell
▪ Swelling and pain at the jaw
▪ Difficulty opening the mouth
▪ Bad breath
When wisdom teeth grow in, they can cause even more trouble to the surrounding teeth. Orthodontic treatment might be called for if the incoming wisdom teeth force the other molars ahead, causing overcrowding. There is a risk of a tumor growing in the mouth-- though it is uncommon-- and this takes place because the wisdom tooth develops in a fluid-filled sac inside the jawbone. This can lead to a cyst. If this arises, the oral surgeon could have to get remove the surrounding bone and tissue. Like we mentioned previously, wisdom teeth are tough to clean because they reside in the back of the mouth. Along with tooth decay, patients are additionally at risk of an inflammatory gum condition referred to as pericoronitis for these exact reasons.
A Standard Operation
The oral surgeon will extract all four wisdom teeth together, but they might prefer to do a few teeth at a time depending on their or the patient's desires. The patient will undergo general anesthesia to lessen the amount of irritation they might experience during the process. Depending on the number of teeth that are being taken out, this procedure can last anywhere from one to several hours. The most common side effects of wisdom teeth removal are bleeding and swelling at the surgery site. These may be managed at home with ice packs and gauze, but if these side effects remain, it is practical to call the performing surgeon.
Arguments Against Wisdom Tooth Extraction
A number of people suggest that removing wisdom teeth is unnecessary and is simply a way for dentists to charge considerable amounts of money to their patients. Jay W. Friedman, DDS, MPH, has published an article explaining this position and the misconceptions that come with the eruption of wisdom teeth in young patients. Obviously, the decision to move ahead with wisdom teeth removal or to decide against it is ultimately up to the patient. However, we support our patients to make an educated examination of their pain and irritation and to consult with Dr. Hill for suggestions and advice when it comes to figuring out the severeness of impaction.
If you would like to schedule an examination with Dr. Hill, you can do so on our website or you can call the office at (513)521-2100. In the meantime, you can check out the list of the services he provides for his patients here.