Recommended For Wisdom Tooth Extraction
This procedure is recommended for patients with damaged or infected wisdom teeth due to cavities or trauma. Wisdom tooth extraction is also recommended for patients who experience pain due to the growth of these teeth, even if they are healthy. Wisdom teeth removal is recommended as a treatment for pericoronitis – infection, and inflammation of the gum tissue around a tooth.
Duration Of Operation
1 to 2 hours
1 - 2 days
A wisdom tooth extraction is a type of dentistry procedure which focuses on the wisdom teeth. This procedure should not be confused with simple tooth extraction, even if the procedures are similar. Some dentists may avoid doing wisdom tooth extractions or surgical tooth extractions since the procedure tends to be a little bit more complicated than a simple tooth extraction.
Most patients will opt for a wisdom tooth extraction due to cavities, root infections or as a final solution for damaged teeth which cannot be treated with other dental restoration techniques such as crowns, tooth fillings or dental bridges.
It's important to mention that even if in most cases, the wisdom teeth are under the gum line, they can still develop root infections or cavities from nearby teeth. In these cases, the dentist may try to treat the tooth with a filling or extract it, if the patient is suffering from discomfort or pain due to the tooth's growth pattern.
Almost all adults will require a wisdom tooth extraction before they reach the age of 30, even in cases where the wisdom teeth are healthy.
Patients will need a set of dental X rays done before the procedure. Patients will also need to cease any intake of anti-inflammatory pills or anticoagulants for a few days before undergoing a wisdom tooth extraction.
How It Is Performed
The average wisdom teeth removal operation is performed under partial or in some cases, general anesthesia by a dental surgeon. The procedure begins with the dentist locating the affected tooth and analyzing the surrounding area. After the anesthesia kicks in, an incision will be made in the gum line to expose the wisdom tooth. The tooth will then be carefully removed, in stages, as not to leave any parts of it behind. The bone may also need to be removed to allow access to the wisdom tooth roots. Once the tooth is removed, the dentist will use sutures to close the incision in the gum line.
The average wisdom tooth extraction recovery period may last up to a couple of weeks during which the patient will require painkillers to avoid discomfort or pain. Alcohol and smoking are prohibited during this period. Patients need to abstain from eating for a few hours after the procedure.
Wisdom tooth extraction risks and complications can include:
- Damage to nearby teeth
- Wisdom tooth extraction infection
- Dry sockets
- Exposure of bone tissue
- Nerve damage
Side effects can include pain, numbness, and discomfort.
How long does it take to heal fully?
It can take up to a few weeks for the wound to fully heal. Most people will need recovery in around a week.
Is it painful? For how long?
Most patients will experience pain and discomfort during the first week after the procedure.
Can I eat after a wisdom tooth extraction?
Patients need to avoid solid food for a few days after the procedure.
This content is written and reviewed by our medical content team in September, 2019.