There are very few lucky people who don’t have any problems with their wisdom teeth – most of us experience excruciating pain while our third sets of molars are erupting and we also need to have them extracted very soon after that. Here is why and what to expect of the removal process.
Why Wisdom Teeth Are So Problematic
Wisdom teeth are a set of large molars located at the end of the upper and the lower row of teeth. The teeth being located where they are, they play hardly role in chewing and grinding food, their function being taken over by the other teeth. The other teeth being more important for breaking up our food, they have increased in size, leaving less space for wisdom teeth to grow and this lack of space makes wisdom teeth more prone to developing growth problems. There are two types of growth disorders: wisdom teeth are either unable to erupt and grow horizontally, under the gum or they erupt, but they grow incorrectly. Both issues increase the likelihood of developing serious problems and they might both impact the development and the functioning of the other teeth in the row. There is a third aspect that makes wisdom teeth problematic: their location makes them almost impossible to clean properly and that aspect also increases the likelihood of developing cavities and infections.
How Wisdom Teeth Issues Are Treated
Small wisdom teeth issues, such as superficial cavities or plaque can be easily treated by general dentist, the procedures used being the same as the procedures used on other teeth, such as the application of fillings and professional cleaning. However, if the problem is more severe, the dentist will probably refer the patient to an oral surgeon who will perform wisdom tooth removal Highland Park area and surrounding areas.
The oral surgeon will start any treatment with an inspection of the affected wisdom tooth and will probably ask the patient to have an X-ray done of the tooth to see the condition that the root of the tooth and the adjacent teeth are in. After that, the decision whether and how to remove the wisdom tooth is made. In most cases, the intervention is performed under local anesthesia, but if the impaction of the tooth is very severe, if it is severely infected or if the problem is caused by a failure to erupt, general anesthesia might be required. Most extraction procedures last for about an hour, after which the patient can go home.
The wound in the extraction area needs to be taken special care of for a couple of weeks. The patient should not brush the area for about a week – cleaning can be done through rinsing with chamomile tea or with lukewarm salt water – and there are some diet restrictions as well: dairy products, hard foods, foods and beverages that are too cold and too hot should be avoided. The patient should also avoid strenuous physical exercise and everything that could dislodge the blood clot the forms in the wound to protect it from infections.