If you have impacted teeth (usually your wisdom teeth), the dentist might recommend oral surgery for removing them. These teeth can cause a lot of problems. For example, wisdom teeth can grow in wrong and become painful and cause irritation. They can also make it difficult to chew properly. Because of their impacted nature, it can be difficult to keep them clean, which raises the risks of cavities and infections.
It is understandable to be a little nervous about the procedure, especially if it requires any type of sedation. It can help that you understand what your dentist or oral surgeon is doing when removing your teeth.
Oral surgery for impacted teeth
Regular dental offices or surgical dental offices can take out wisdom teeth or other impacted teeth. No matter where the oral surgery takes place, there will be specific steps the surgeon will take.
The dentist will talk to the patient about the preferred type of sedation. The patient’s level of fear and required extractions help determine which type to use. Sedation can involve nitrous oxide, oral medicine or IV sedation. IV sedation is a popular choice since the patient is unlikely to remember the procedure after completion.
Numbing and imaging
Once the sedation has taken place, the surgeon or dentist will numb the impacted teeth and the surrounding tissue with a local anesthetic. Most people will already have X-rays completed. However, sometimes the dentist requires another one at the start of the procedure.
The surgeon or dentist will start the surgery by removing the gum tissue covering the impacted tooth. An incision in the tissue allows access to the patient’s tooth. The dentist then moves the tissue out of the way with a surgical instrument until the tooth is fully visible.
There is a chance the impacted tooth may be partially or fully covered in bone. If so, a dental instrument will drill through the bone and remove it from the tooth. If the tooth has erupted in the patient’s mouth, the dentist or surgeon will loosen the connective tissue around the tooth.
Removing the tooth
Once the tooth is visible, different surgical tools will loosen the tooth from the tooth socket. The dentist or surgeon may have to cut the tooth into sections to prevent it from breaking. Once the impacted tooth is sectioned and loosened, the dentist can remove it.
After the tooth removal, the dentist may need to stitch the area closed. This is necessary when the dentist feels that the patient will have an easier time healing with stitches in place. The patient will be brought out of sedation and provided with gauze to help the blood clot.
Healing from impacted tooth removal
Once you understand the process of having your impacted teeth extracted, it hopefully will not be so frightening. It is important for you to listen to all post-op instructions given by the dentist or surgeon. This is especially true during the first seven to 10 days following your oral surgery. If you have impacted teeth, talk to a dentist about oral surgery and ask how it can improve your dental health.
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