Impacted wisdom teeth can cause severe pain, damage to other teeth, and infection, but wisdom tooth extraction is a routine procedure that can improve and protect your oral health. The Harvard-trained surgeons at Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates of Nevada perform wisdom teeth extractions as needed. Schedule an appointment online or over the phone at the Summerlin or East Side Las Vegas office.
Your wisdom teeth or third molars are in the very back of your mouth. They’re called “wisdom teeth” because they erupt when you’re an older teen or young adult. By contrast, your other permanent teeth, including your canines, incisors, premolars, and molars, come in when you’re a child.
Most people develop four wisdom teeth, behind the molars on both sides in the upper and lower jaw. However, you may have one, two, three, or none at all.
Sometimes, wisdom teeth erupt normally and easily fit into your mouth. In this case, they’re functional teeth and can help you chew food, just like your other molars.
Many people have at least one “impacted” wisdom tooth, which they can’t erupt fully. Impacted wisdom teeth may be trapped beneath your gums or only partially erupt. That’s because, unlike your other teeth, wisdom teeth develop after your jaw stops growing, so there’s often no room for them.
It’s not always necessary to pull, or extract, your wisdom teeth. There’s no need to extract a wisdom tooth if:
It’s usually a good idea to remove impacted wisdom teeth, including to prevent problems from developing later. Impacted wisdom teeth are hard to keep clean and can become infected, leading to dental pain and cysts. If there’s not enough room for your wisdom teeth, they can also crowd or damage nearby teeth, as well as your jaw bone and nerves.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates of Nevada performs wisdom tooth removal as an outpatient procedure. The practice makes your safety and comfort their first priority, and you can expect three or four staff members to take care of you at each stage of the process.
In most cases, you receive local anesthesia, so you’re awake, but your mouth is numb. If you’d like, you may also receive a sedative to help you relax.
During the procedure, your oral surgeon makes incisions in your gums so they can access your wisdom teeth. Once your doctor removes your wisdom teeth, they clean the area and stitch the gum tissue back together.
Though the exact time depends on how impacted your wisdom tooth is, the procedure is usually less than an hour. It’s normal to experience some bleeding, swelling, and pain after the procedure, but you can expect to return to work or school within 2-3 days and heal within a week. Your doctor provides instructions for at-home care so you can heal properly after the procedure and may prescribe pain medication.
To get your wisdom teeth examined, schedule an appointment at Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates of Nevada online or over the phone.