Wisdom teeth, the third molars are usually the last teeth to surface in the mouth, around the ages of 17 to 25. They are at the back of the mouth, top and bottom jaws, near the entrance to the throat. It is very common for wisdom teeth to come up improperly due to limitations in jaw space, which can lead to varying problems. If left untreated, such impacted teeth can cause infection, damage to other teeth, migration of other teeth, and possibly cysts or tumors.
There are a few stages at which a wisdom tooth can be removed, from being completely encased in jaw bone, to being covered only by gum. Therefore, different procedures exist and may be necessary for you case.
Even though not all wisdom teeth need removal, extractions are performed because of an issue the patient is having, such as decay, infection, swelling, or pain cause by the wisdom tooth. Very often wisdom teeth are removed before they can lead to any damage. It is important to consider these possibilities. Even if you feel no pain, most likely it is difficult to keep the back teeth clean, and bacteria easily thrive in wisdom teeth that have not fully erupted. Wisdom commonly cause tooth crowding, as they push other teeth aside trying to fit on the jaw, even if braces had been worn prior to their surfacing.
Before the procedure, the dentist will want to study your teeth and jaw by taking x-rays to determine any existing or possible problems with your wisdom teeth. A thorough examination is necessary before choosing which option is best for you.
The procedure itself is very common, done under local anesthesia, IV sedation, or general anesthesia, done by a specialist. An overnight stay is not necessary, and you will be released with important post operation instruction as to how to care for your wounds, as well as medication if it seems necessary for swelling or discomfort.