Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Wisdom teeth are the last of your adult teeth to come through, typically in the late teens and twenties. They are also referred to as your third molars. Oftentimes, our mouths are not big enough for this last set of teeth and they require extraction. It used to be that wisdom teeth would be pulled because it was thought that they would shift your other teeth, but it is now widely discredited that wisdom teeth cause crooked teeth. Instead, wisdom teeth may need extracting if they are causing pain or are impacted. If they are not bothering you, there is no reason to have them removed. At Portland City Dental we can let you know if you need your wisdom teeth extracted.
Before an Extraction
A tooth extraction may be performed by a general dentist or specialist. Before any extraction, a dental exam is necessary to assess the condition of the patient's teeth and soft tissues. Some people may have more complex conditions than others and extraction may require the care of a referred oral surgeon or periodontist. After the physical examination, an x-ray is taken to see if there is any internal damage to the tooth or loss of alveolar bone structure.
Dental Extraction Procedure
Extraction of your wisdom teeth may involve one or more types of anesthesia. The type used for your procedure will be based upon factors unique to your situation, which could include the number of teeth being removed and whether you are undergoing additional procedures at the same time. Regular tooth extractions usually require only a simple extraction, while wisdom teeth are generally a surgical extraction.
During the extraction, a local anesthetic is administered, numbing the tooth and surrounding tissues. If damage is minimal, the dentist will use forceps to rock the tooth back and forth, loosening it from micro ligaments in the socket, and pulling it out from the root. Some extractions are partially surgical, the gum surrounding the tooth will be cut away so it can be easily extracted from the socket. Teeth that are impacted may require this small incision in the gums so that the tooth can be fully accessed.
The tooth may not have enough surface area for the forceps to grip onto if it has been severely damaged from decay or broke off at the gum line. In these cases, if the tooth is broken or proving difficult to extract, it may need to be removed in pieces. Once the wisdom teeth have been extracted, gauze will be used to control the bleeding.
After the extraction, the socket is cleaned. Your dentist will place a small piece of medical gauze over the socket. In order for the wound to heal a blood clot will naturally form. The gauze is there to prevent excess bleeding and keep the socket moist. If necessary, your dentist will place a few self-dissolving stitches to close the gum’s edges over the extraction site.
There is a lot to consider with a wisdom tooth extraction, it's not as simple as pulling a tooth. You can consult one of our dentists at Portland City Dental. Using the information taken from a dental exam they can determine a plan for treatment. Reach out to our team at (503) 867-8124.