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Wisdom teeth removal: Your guide to what to expect when getting teeth extracted

Young lady holding a wisdom tooth after she had it removed

The wisdom teeth are the last set to develop. Your dentist might recommend surgery to remove wisdom teeth if they don’t fully emerge from the gums (also known as impaction).

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth (also known as third molars) can be as useful as other teeth as long as they are normal in growth and have healthy gum tissue. Wisdom teeth are not able to grow properly for many people.

Wisdom teeth are usually present between the ages of 17 and 21. When two-thirds have formed, the ideal age to get them out is between 18-24. They can be removed later in life, however.

What does it mean to have a tooth impacted?

Impaction refers to a situation in which a tooth does not ultimately emerge from the gums. You can impact wisdom teeth at different levels.

Hard tissue (bony), impaction

  • Hard tissue impaction means the tooth cannot be extracted from the bone. This can happen in partial or full.

Soft tissue impaction

  • Soft tissue impaction means the top of the tooth is higher than the bone and is covered only with gum tissue.

You can have the tooth at different angles.

 

What happens if my wisdom teeth are kept?

You could be at risk from:

  • Infected gums
  • Nearby teeth can be decayed
  • Cysts
  • Bone damage
  • Crowded, misaligned teeth

Your wisdom teeth may not need to go if they grow correctly and have enough room in your mouth.

Non-impacted teeth can be removed if there is a problem.

What happens when wisdom teeth are removed?

 

Man holding xray of his teeth showing impacted wisdom teeth that need to be removedInitial Dental Exam

Dr. Arheart will examine your wisdom teeth, and then we will take X-rays of your mouth. Most people opt to have all four of their teeth removed at once due to it being more convenient in the long run.

Dental Sedation

Anesthesia will be administered to you. You may get anesthesia depending on the complexity of your procedure.

Local anesthetic

      • local anesthetic is given via a shot that numbs the area where the tooth or teeth will be removed (you’ll stay awake).

Sedation Anesthesia

      • Sedation anesthesia is used to give you a “light” sleep, either intravenously or via a gas mask. Most patients prefer our dental IV sedation due to it giving the most comfort during the surgery. 

General Anesthesia

    • via an IV or gas Mask for “deep sleep.”

Dentist removing wisdom teeth from young patientWisdom Tooth Removal

The dentist or surgeon will need to open the gum tissue to remove the tooth or teeth. If the bone tissue in the jaw is covering the tooth, it may be possible to remove some of it.

The tooth will be extracted. To make it easier to remove, the tooth may be cut or broken into several pieces.

The dentist, which will be Dr. Areheart if you choose Piedmont Dental to have the procedure done, will stitch the wound.

Recovery After Oral Surgery

These tips will help you to recover quickly.

  • You can keep a gauze pad on your wound, and you should change it often.
  • Ice packs can be used to reduce swelling.
  • Avoid smoking, alcohol, and any physical activity.
  • Use warm salt water to rinse.
  • Use a straw. The wound can be damaged if the pressure is too high.
  • To keep food debris and bacteria from entering your mouth, floss regularly. Make sure to clean the wound well.

If you need wisdom teeth removal in Rock Hill, SC, Give Piedmont Dental Dr.Areheart a call to set up a consultation. Our dental office specializes in wisdom tooth extraction of all ages. We are also one of the only dental offices around that offers IV sedation, giving you the maximum amount of comfort during the procedure. Call us at 803-328-3886

Click here for directions to Piedmont Dental, Dr. Areheart