It can be painful when 32 teeth are forced to fit in a mouth designed for 28 teeth. The four extra teeth are known as third molars, or “wisdom teeth.” When wisdom teeth align properly and gum tissue is healthy, they don’t necessarily have to be removed. Sometimes teeth grow sideways, partially emerging from the gum and remain trapped in the gum and bone. But impacted teeth can remain trapped in the gums in the bone as they attempt to find a pathway that allows them to erupt.
Poorly positioned impacted wisdom teeth can cause multiple problems. When partially erupted, the opening around the tooth allows bacteria to grow and may cause an infection. that results in swelling, stiffness, pain and illness. The pressure from the erupting wisdom tooth can move other teeth and disrupt natural alignment. The most serious problem is when tumors or cysts form around impacted wisdom teeth, causing destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth.
Before extracting a wisdom tooth, Dr. Urig will administer a local anesthetic to numb the area where the tooth will be removed. A general anesthetic may be used, especially if several or all of your wisdom teeth are extracted at the same time. General anesthesia not only prevents pain in the body but allows sleep through the procedure.
The gum tissue will be opened up over the tooth and any remaining bone will be removed. Sometimes the tooth is cut into smaller pieces to make removal less difficult. A folded cotton gauze pad is placed over the wound, to help stop bleeding. Stitches may be necessary but they dissolve over time and only occasionally need to be removed. In most cases, the recovery period lasts a few days.
Schedule a Consultation
If you would like to discuss wisdom tooth removal or have questions, call and schedule a consultation with Dr. Urig at Bonita Medical Center 505-988-2121.