What Are Impacted Wisdom Tooth?
Before we explain the concept of impacted wisdom tooth, you must understand a few important facts about wisdom teeth in general. Wisdom teeth, also known as the third molars, are the final teeth located at the back of the mouth on all four quadrants. They usually erupt in your late teens or early adulthood, between the ages of 17 and 25, after all other teeth have erupted. They serve no functional purposes, and they’re generally considered to be vestigial organs.
Sometimes, since wisdom teeth erupt after all other permanent teeth, they don’t have enough space in the jawbone. When that happens, the wisdom teeth may remain stuck under the gum line, incapable of breaking through the gum tissues. These wisdom teeth are known as “impacted wisdom tooth,” and they lead to an increased risk of gum disease, decay, and other dental complications. That’s why most dentists recommend impacted wisdom tooth removal to ensure optimal oral health.
What are common warning signs of impacted wisdom tooth?
Impacted wisdom tooth don’t always cause problems — some people never experience dental problems, pain, or other symptoms. In some cases, the wisdom teeth may partially erupt from the gum tissues, and you might see the uppermost parts of the erupted wisdom teeth — this is known as a partially impacted wisdom tooth. Impacted and partially impacted wisdom tooth can lead to numerous complications, such as gum inflammation, inability to clean teeth properly, and more.
The following are some of the common warning signs of impacted wisdom tooth:
- Jaw pain and swelling
- Bleeding or swollen gums
- Extreme gingival redness
- Persistent bad breath
- Unpleasant taste in the mouth
- Inability to open mouth properly
Why do wisdom teeth become impacted?
You may have an impacted wisdom tooth if your jaw doesn’t have sufficient space to accommodate the newly erupting wisdom tooth. In some cases, the wisdom tooth may grow at an incorrect angle, which can also lead to an impacted wisdom tooth. A large percentage of wisdom teeth are impacted wisdom tooth, which is why most patients need wisdom tooth extraction at some point. Some dentists also recommend impacted wisdom tooth removal as a preventative procedure to minimize the risk of future dental complications.
How are impacted teeth treated?
Your impacted wisdom tooth treatment process starts with a thorough consultation and diagnosis. Your dentist will examine your teeth, and if they believe you have an impacted wisdom tooth, they’ll take x-rays to examine your teeth. A simple x-ray can clearly reveal if you have an impacted wisdom tooth and whether it’s damaging the surrounding teeth and bones. If you have impacted wisdom tooth, the dentist may recommend wisdom tooth extraction to protect your surrounding teeth and bone tissues.
If your impacted wisdom tooth is causing problems or pain, you may need an emergency wisdom tooth removal. However, even if you don’t experience pain, your dentist might still recommend impacted wisdom tooth extraction. The impacted wisdom tooth treatment is performed as an outpatient procedure, usually under local anesthesia and intravenous sedation. As such, you’re awake for the procedure, but you don’t feel any pain or anxiety. You can also ask for general anesthesia to make you sleep through the procedure.
During the impacted wisdom tooth removal procedure, the dentist will make a small incision in your gums to access the underlying bone tissues. The dentist will cut the bone tissues around the wisdom tooth to dislodge it and then cut the wisdom tooth into small pieces. Finally, the dentist will remove the wisdom tooth one piece at a time and then close the incision with dissolvable sutures. The empty socket will be packed with antiseptic gauze. The procedure should conclude within 60 minutes.
How do you recover from wisdom teeth removal?
Wisdom tooth removal is performed as an in-office, outpatient procedure, so you can return home immediately. You can resume your daily activities and work the day after the procedure, but your mouth will heal completely after six weeks. You may need to eat soft and cold foods for up to a week, and you may have trouble opening your mouth. After wisdom tooth removal, you may experience mild swelling, bleeding, and pain. You must follow the dentist’s aftercare guidelines to ensure optimal post-treatment recovery.
Whatever happens, you must protect the blood clot on the empty socket after the procedure. You should avoid spitting or rinsing for a day or two after the procedure to avoid dislodging the blood clot. You should also avoid hot beverages or crunchy/ hard foods. If the blood clot gets dislodged after the surgery, your bone will be exposed, leading to a painful condition known as a dry socket, which can’t be controlled even with pain medications. Please follow your walk in dentist advice to the letter to ensure optimal recovery.
Is wisdom tooth extraction necessary?
Wisdom tooth extraction isn’t always necessary. If your impacted wisdom tooth isn’t causing any problems, your dentist will assess the likelihood that you may experience problems in the future. If the risk of complications is fairly low, the dentist may recommend leaving it in place. If you decide to skip impacted wisdom tooth extraction, you will need regular dental checkups to monitor its condition and prevent other potential problems, such as gum disease.
Schedule your impacted wisdom tooth removal in Houston, TX
URBN Dental is a state-of-the-art emergency dental clinic with offices in Midtown Houston and Uptown Houston, TX. Our emergency dental clinic is led by a talented team of dentists specializing in the most advanced wisdom tooth removal techniques, ensuring optimal results without harsh side effects or complications. If you have the signs and symptoms of an impacted wisdom tooth, please schedule your appointment impacted wisdom tooth removal in Houston, TX.