When wisdom teeth can’t erupt past the jaw line, they are impacted. Because most jaws are not large enough to accommodate wisdom teeth, this actually happens to a number of patients. Luckily, oral surgeons can easily extract these teeth, but it’s important to note that there are differences between impacted wisdom teeth removal and extracting wisdom teeth that have already erupted.
Types of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
The complexity of the procedure varies based on the way your wisdom teeth are impacted. Generally, impacted wisdom teeth fall into one of the following categories:
Full-Bony Impacted — These teeth are completely stuck in your jaw bone.
Partial-Bony Impacted — These teeth are partially stuck in your jaw bone.
Soft-Tissue Impacted — These teeth are just under the gum line.
Before your procedure, you may want to find out which category your teeth are in. Then, you can use that information as you decide which pain medication you need. For instance, if your teeth are full-bony impacted, you may want to go under general anesthesia or choose dental sedation, but if they’re just under the gumline, you may be fine with an oral anesthetic. Note this varies for everyone based on your pain tolerance and dental history.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth Removal
To remove your impacted wisdom teeth, the oral surgeon starts by giving you a local or general anesthesia. Then, they make an incision into your gum line. This is not necessary when the teeth have already erupted. At that point, they pull out the wisdom teeth.
Once the wisdom teeth are gone, the socket will bleed, and to stem the flow of blood, the oral surgeon will put gauze in your mouth. They may also need to put in stitches to close the opening. In contrast, stitches are usually not necessary if your wisdom teeth have already erupted.
To stay comfortable, you may want to ask for a prescription for painkillers, and because of the incisions, you usually need to take an antibiotic. If possible, give yourself a day or two to relax, but after that, you should be fine to resume normal activity.
Greater Risk of Complications
In addition to being under the gum line, impacted wisdom teeth can be behind other teeth or in odd spots of your jaw bone. As a result, it is harder to do impacted wisdom teeth removal, and that opens up the possibility of more complications. To protect the health of your mouth, always make sure that you go to a skilled oral and maxillofacial surgeon for this procedure. Dr. Abtin is a graduate of the Emory University School of Medicine Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery as well as a Diplomat of the American Board of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery so you know you’re in good hands with us.
To put it very simply, if the teeth have already erupted, the dentist simply needs to remove them the same way they do any other tooth. The other difference is that the teeth are bigger and the roots are deeper, so the process may involve a lot more pressure. But with impacted wisdom teeth removal, there are several barriers in the way, which requires a skillful touch.
If you need impacted wisdom teeth removal, contact us today. At Greater Atlanta Oral Facial Surgery, we have a skilled team of oral surgeons who can help you, and we have two locations for your convenience in Cumming and Buckhead.