Wisdom tooth surgery is a common dental procedure that is not fully understood and, for that reason, is feared by many individuals. This is especially true for those who fear dentistry in general. The key to overcoming the fear of anything is knowledge, and learning more about dental surgery is a wise course of action for anyone who may require such a procedure.
What are Wisdom Teeth?
Also known as the third molars, wisdom teeth are a reminder of when our ancestors consumed raw flesh and vegetation. Though unnecessary to modern humans, they can be a source of pain and can even be a threat to other teeth.
Wisdom teeth will often not emerge until the late teen years, and may not appear before a person reaches the age of 25. Their delayed appearance accounts for why they in many cases fail to emerge cleanly, creating a situation in which the teeth become impacted. In addition to the way they grow, their location in the rear of the mouth makes wisdom teeth virtually inaccessible to brushing and flossing, which is why they often spawn cavities or gum disease. Symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth include pain, swelling or even bleeding of the gums.
When to Undergo Tooth Extraction
Since the roots of the teeth have not completely formed and the surrounding bone is softer at a younger age, extraction is best accomplished earlier in life. Additionally, the risk of complications is greater if the surgery is delayed until later in one’s life.
Some young adults choose to undergo surgery before their wisdom teeth become a source of trouble. According to one estimate, approximately 85 percent of the American population will at some time in their lives require wisdom tooth surgery. Fewer than 5 percent of those aged 65 or older will have wisdom teeth that are not giving them trouble.
What to Expect From Wisdom Tooth Surgery
Wisdom tooth extraction is done in the same manner as other types of oral surgery, although it will not involve the placement of a dental crown. The patient can be placed under either general anesthesia or be given a local anesthetic that will numb the affected area. The patient may experience swelling or localized pain after the surgery, but these effects can be treated with time and medication. In a subsequent visit, the stitches used to repair the gums will have to be removed, usually without the use of an anesthetic.
The cost and complexity of the surgery will depend upon the number of teeth being removed and their condition. These issues can be resolved in a consultation with a dental expert. Those facing oral surgery should seek a setting that makes them comfortable and confident throughout the entire procedure. This is the type of relaxing atmosphere patients can find at Biscayne Dental Center.
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