Wisdom teeth are the molars in the far back of your mouth and usually emerge in late teens or early twenties. In the past, they were useful for our more basic diet of meat and hard foods, but now they serve little purpose. Wisdom tooth removal may seem daunting but it is a common procedure.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
Before any tooth removal, your dentist will take x-rays. This may have been done at a previous appointment to determine the need the removal, but more may be required on the day.
The tooth and surrounding tissue is numbed using local anaesthetic injected into the gums. Some patients that are particularly anxious about the procedure may also receive some form of sedation.
Once the local anaesthetic has taken full effect, your dentist will use specialist tools to loosen the connective tissue surrounding the tooth. Another set of dental tools are then used to actually remove the tooth. You may feel a lot of pressure at this point, but the anaesthetic will ensure you feel no pain. Your dentist may decide that stitches will improve healing. The stitches are dissolvable and shouldn’t create any additional discomfort.
When You Might Need Surgery
Sometimes removing a wisdom tooth requires a small surgical procedure. This might be because your wisdom tooth is impacted and has not emerged through the jaw bone, or because it is broken into pieces and can’t be removed without leaving a piece behind.
As with the procedure described above, you will receive a local anaesthetic to numb the tooth and the surrounding area. As the procedure is a little more invasive, it is more common to receive at least a mild sedation in surgical cases.
If the wisdom tooth is covered over by gum tissue, the dental surgeon will make a small incision in order to expose the tooth. They will then proceed as described above, by loosening the connective tissue around the tooth and removing it using specialist instruments. If the tooth is fully impacted it will be covered by bone. The dental surgeon will use a small handheld drill to clear the bone from around the tooth.
They may also use the drill to divide the tooth into sections to avoid it breaking unpredictably during the final extraction stages. If a wisdom tooth breaks then each piece has to be removed separately and it may require further drilling and a deeper incision into the gum tissue.