Understanding Wisdom Tooth Removal
Many patients do not have enough room for wisdom teeth or they develop issues as these molars erupt, causing severe discomfort. If not promptly addressed, impacted wisdom teeth can lead to serious complications including misalignment and damage to adjacent teeth. However, even if you are pain free, you may not be problem free. As issues may not be readily apparent, it is important to have your wisdom teeth evaluated by a professional. With over 30 years of surgical expertise combined with advanced techniques, Dr. John S. McIntyre in Brooklyn, NY, can help patients experience a comfortable, successful wisdom tooth removal.
Why Extract Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars, and they generally develop during the late teens or early twenties. It is very rare for patients to have no issues with incoming wisdom teeth. More often than not, these teeth can lead to dental complications and require extraction.
Misalignment and Crowding
If wisdom teeth are misaligned, they may be positioned horizontally or be resting at an improper angle. This arrangement poses a threat not only to other molars but also to the nerves and jawbone. These third molars can also shift other teeth out of alignment, leading to crowding and discomfort. Crowded teeth may also make it more difficult to maintain proper hygiene, increasing your risk of oral decay.
If not promptly addressed, impacted wisdom teeth can lead to serious complications including misalignment and damage to adjacent teeth.
If wisdom teeth are impacted, they are trapped beneath bone or blocked by surrounding teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth can lead to pain and tenderness, swelling, head or jaw ache, cyst formation, and bad breath. In some cases, impacted wisdom teeth partially emerge and can create empty pockets for bacteria to enter and cause infection. Due to their hard-to-reach location, these teeth are difficult to brush and floss and therefore have a higher tendency to decay.
Benefits of Early Treatment
It is easier to remove wisdom teeth when the patient is under 25 years of age, as the bone is more flexible, the root is not fully developed, and there is a lower chance of nerve damage. Even if you are not experiencing discomfort, it is important to discuss your options with your oral surgeon to avoid any future complications. To determine if surgery is right for you, Dr. McIntyre will perform a physical examination and may request a combination of x-rays and panoramic x-rays. These scans will show him the exact position of the teeth in relation to the nerves and jawbone so that he can determine if developing teeth may pose issues and plan your extraction.
Before your procedure, Dr. McIntyre will administer a local anesthetic. If desired, he can also provide a sedative to ensure optimal comfort. Depending upon your needs, the doctor will perform a particular kind of extraction:
- If the wisdom tooth is fully erupted, your procedure may be as easy as a simple extraction, in which the wisdom tooth is carefully loosened and gently removed using forceps.
- If your wisdom tooth is underneath your gums and tucked beneath jawbone, the doctor will first make a small incision in the gums and then remove any bone that lies on top of the tooth. Dr. McIntyre may extract the tooth in smaller sections to create the least amount of impact to surrounding bone.
If you are having more than one wisdom tooth removed, Dr. McIntyre recommends extracting all at once to ensure the fastest recovery time.
Dr. McIntyre will provide full-postoperative instructions and may prescribe pain medication and anti-inflammatory drugs to minimize discomfort after your procedure. It is common for swelling to occur, and it normally peaks three days after surgery. To reduce swelling, you should apply ice and keep your head elevated. As your comfort is a top priority, Dr. McIntyre will contact you after surgery to check in, and he may further customize your care plan to your exact needs.One week after surgery, you should schedule a follow-up appointment so the doctor can ensure you are healing properly.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
Though sometimes unnoticeable, impacted or partially erupted wisdom teeth can cause infection or periodontal disease. Dr. McIntyre uses cutting-edge techniques to perform gentle, conservative wisdom tooth removal. Call our office today at (718) 638-2200 or fill out our online form to schedule your appointment.