What is Impacted Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
Impacted wisdom tooth extraction is a surgical procedure to remove one or more wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are the last adult teeth to come in at the back of your mouth and often don’t have room to grow properly, leading to impaction. This can cause pain, infection, and issues with speaking and eating. During the extraction procedure, an oral surgeon or dentist makes an incision in the gums and removes the tooth. The area may require stitches and takes several weeks to heal. It’s typically performed under local, sedation, or general anaesthesia to ensure patient comfort.
What is asymptomatic wisdom teeth?
Asymptomatic wisdom teeth are wisdom teeth that do not show any noticeable or apparent symptoms such as pain, discomfort, or swelling. They have fully emerged and may seem completely normal as they are not causing any obvious oral health issues.
However, even if a wisdom tooth is asymptomatic, it still can possess a risk. Sometimes, these teeth can be challenging to clean and may, over time, lead to gum disease or tooth decay.
Therefore, dentists sometimes recommend extraction of asymptomatic wisdom teeth as a preventive measure, especially if they predict potential future problems.
When would an extraction not be recommended
While extraction is often recommended for problematic wisdom teeth, there are situations where a dentist might not recommend this procedure.
- Healthy Teeth: If the wisdom teeth are fully erupted, healthy, and correctly positioned without causing bite or jaw issues, they might not need extraction.
- No Cavities or Gum Disease: If these teeth can be easily cleaned and are not susceptible or contributing to cavities or gum disease.
- Low risk of oral disease: The dentist might not recommend extraction if they predict a low risk of potential future problems like shifting teeth or disease.
- Potential Surgical Complications: If a patient is at risk for complications during the procedure such as potential nerve damage, sinus complications, or has medical conditions that can complicate surgery or recovery, extraction might not be recommended.
- Age: Older adults may not need their wisdom teeth removed if they’re not causing problem, as the risks of complications from surgery can increase with age.
Nevertheless, the decision to extract or retain wisdom teeth is best taken by a dental professional considering individual oral health conditions.
What are the Risks?
While impacted wisdom tooth extraction is a common procedure, like any surgery, it does come with potential risks. These may include:
- Dry Socket: This occurs when the blood clot that forms in the tooth socket after surgery to aid in healing is lost too soon, exposing underlying bone and nerves, which can cause severe pain.
- Infection: Though rare, there’s a possibility of infection at the extraction site, indicated by fever, prolonged pain, or swelling.
- Nerve injury: In some cases, the surgery could result in a temporary or permanent damage to the nerves near the extraction site causing numbness, tingling or altered sensation in the tongue, lips or cheeks.
- Sinus Communication: Extraction of upper wisdom teeth can occasionally lead to a small hole in the sinus.
- Damage to adjacent teeth: Especially if they have large fillings or crowns.
- Bleeding and swelling in your gums or face are common but usually subside in a couple of days after the procedure.
Remember, your dentist or oral surgeon is best equipped to answer any concerns prior to the procedure. Regular follow-ups post-surgery will ensure proper healing and recovery.
Aftercare and Recovery
After a wisdom tooth extraction, following a proper care routine can make your recovery quicker and easier.
Our dentist will provide personalised aftercare advice as every patient’s needs may vary.
Get in Touch
If you’re in need of dental care, get in touch to book an initial consultation.