While most people won’t have trouble with their wisdom teeth, these teeth are often removed during oral surgery to prevent more serious issues like an abscess. These teeth usually start to surface in a person’s late teen years and into their early 20s. Many times, they become impacted as they begin to emerge, growing sideways into the neighboring teeth or angled forward. Partially erupted teeth may present other issues as these teeth are difficult to care for and clean. Extractions are ordinarily handled by an oral surgeon on an outpatient basis. Most tooth extractions are part of a preventative measure to safeguard against changes in the alignment of the teeth during orthodontics or more severe difficulties.
- Dry sockets: While dry sockets will generally heal on their own, be sure to consult your oral surgeon to expedite the healing process, and to ensure there is no risk of infection.
- Nerve injury: Nerve injuries are mostly temporary, but should never be overlooked.
- Damage to prior dental work: If your surgery has maligned any previous dental work, immediately contact your dentist.
- Damage to surrounding areas: Though rare, an injury may happen around the sinus cavity or jaw. Any injury should be treated as a dental emergency.
- Impacted teeth
- Prevention of malocclusion
- Cysts, tumors or abscesses
- Partial eruption leading to an operculum
Types of Oral Surgery
Oral surgery is most often performed when the patient is young because the tooth roots have not yet set in the jawbone. After the teeth are anchored, extraction has been proven to be more difficult and requires longer recovery time.
While performing a simple extraction, the dentist or oral surgeon will apply a local anesthetic. Doing so will numb the area but will not render the patient unconscious. The target tooth will then be uplifted using an elevator and then removed from the patient’s mouth with forceps. The performing dentist will perform this process gently so as not to break the tooth during extraction. This type of removal is performed for those patients whose teeth have erupted already.
The dentist may supply an IV anesthetic, which will help the patient to be relaxed yet remain conscious. The oral surgeon will then make a surgical incision to expedite the tooth extraction. Often, the tooth will be sectioned to handle the extraction. This type of surgery is performed for those patients whose teeth have not yet erupted or who have additional issues like large or curved roots.
Your encounter with oral surgery will vary based on how complex the extraction performed is.
- All oral surgeries will begin with a free consult, where you will be made aware of any current or potential future issues with your teeth.
- Despite the type of anesthetic used, you will encounter numbing, and maybe even difficulty chewing or talking after your procedure.
- Rehab time varies based on what type of procedure was used. A surgical tooth extraction requires more time to heal.
- Inflammation is generally more significant after surgery, so you may be provided with instructions for managing your pain and swelling.
- The dentist will provide you with a list of foods to avoid and instructions regarding how to care for your wounds.
- Contusing about the face or oozing blood coming from the wound is common and will go away within a few days.
- The dentist may or may not use stitches to close the incision. Some stitches will dissolve on their own, while others require a follow-up visit to remove.
- You will also be instructed to avoid smoking following surgery. You should avoid activities that may loosen the blood clots, such as drinking through a straw or rinsing your mouth out.