All about wisdom tooth and should you remove it.
Wisdom tooth is the 3rd molar in the mouth. Most people have four wisdom teeth, two in the lower arch and two in upper arch. Usually, the eruption of wisdom teeth is between 17- 25 years of a person’s age.
Generally the eruption of wisdom teeth is painful , if the jaw doesn’t have enough space to accommodate it.
So, the orientation of the tooth/teeth changes, as shown in the below x ray
Different orientations of wisdom teeth/third molars
While eruption, if the socket of the wisdom tooth gets infected, a person suffers with pain and extreme difficulty in opening the mouth. The problem may increase and result in huge swelling, if ignored. Consulting your dentist can help you , by stopping the intensity of the infection and also your dentist will guide you about what to do next about the wisdom tooth eruption.
The dentist's view
When a patient complains in and around the wisdom tooth, first, we check and examine the wisdom tooth area and determine by calibrating with patient’s age, that, if the infection is either long standing or repeated or if it’s a fresh infection. After a round of antibiotics, we go ahead with dental X-ray.
Removal of wisdom tooth is not always necessary
If the wisdom tooth is in proper alignment with the jaw , and is helpful in chewing food and just surrounded by overgrown gums, we allow the tooth to erupt first. And if gum is the problem, we perform a minor procedure just to trim around the gum.
BUT, where the wisdom tooth is tilted, so much so, that if it affects the nearby teeth by forcing them to move, causing infection around the wisdom tooth again and again, Extraction will be the only option.
Handling the removal of wisdom teeth will be discussed in the next article. Keep Reading.
Removal of wisdom tooth
When a wisdom tooth is lodged in the bone and soft tissue, this condition is known as IMPACTION.
And removal of such teeth is known as DISIMPACTION.
- DISIMPACTION is initiated by administration of local or general anesthetic as decided by the dentist with patient’s consent.
- Once anesthetized, In the second step, the gums are incised and the underlying bone is partially removed by surgical instruments to gain access to the impacted tooth.
- In the third step, it is decided by the dental surgeon whether to remove the tooth as a single structure or whether to split it into multiple sections.
- Now after ensuring the complete removal of all the pieces of wisdom tooth, the gum is approximated and sutures (stitches) are placed. The number of sutures is decided by the dentist and depends on the size of the incision.
- Once the removal is completed, the dentist gives a particular set of instructions to the patient so that the patient can recover quickly along with the help of antibiotics and painkillers.
For the first 24 hours
(a) Patient is advised not to
(b)Patients should be on liquid or semisolid diet preferably ice-creams, curds, lassi etc.
For the remaining 3-5 days
- Usually the patient is asked,
- Not to have hot, hard and spicy
- Not to use straw
- Must clean the mouth specially the extraction area using warm water with salt
- Not to miss any dosage of medication / prescription
- Not to open the mouth very wide
- To come back for follow-up after medication is over.
Usually in 3-5 days the primary healing may be completed, but for completion of healing of jaw bone it may take up to 4 weeks. However the patient will be able to continue his/ her daily activities without any trouble within third day of the surgery. As the surgical procedure is painless and while recovery the pain is controlled by medicines.
However, patients’ cooperation to keep the surgical site clean after having food is of utmost importance.