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How Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?

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Updated May 27, 2014

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How Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Photo © Tammy Davenport, Licensed ti About, Inc.
Question: How Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?

If you developed wisdom teeth (and no, not everyone does), chances are you will require wisdom tooth removal at some point in your lifetime.

From personal experience, I have found that if I know what is happening during a procedure, I'm not as nervous or apprehensive during it. If you are curious to know how wisdom teeth are removed, keep reading.

Answer: Here is the low-down on how wisdom teeth are removed:
  1. After the elected method of sedation has taken effect, the oral surgeon or dentist starts the procedure by numbing the tooth and tissues in the area of the mouth where the wisdom teeth are located, with a local anesthetic. You've probably already had an x-ray, known as a panorex, taken of the wisdom teeth, but sometimes the dentist requires additional x-rays the day of the procedure. Any additional x-rays will be taken at this point in the procedure.

  2. Once the patient is completely numb from the local anesthetic and the required x-rays have been taken, the dentist begins the surgical part of the procedure by removing the gum tissue that is covering the area where the wisdom tooth is located. If the wisdom tooth is impacted, an incision is made in the gum tissue, in order to access the tooth. The gum tissue is then pushed out of the way with a surgical instrument until the tooth is visible. There is a good chance that an impacted wisdom tooth could be fully or partially covered in bone. If there is bone covering the wisdom teeth, a high-speed hand piece is used to drill through, and remove the bone covering the tooth. If the wisdom tooth has already erupted into your mouth, the dentist will loosen the connective tissue from around the wisdom tooth.

  3. Once the impacted wisdom teeth are visible to the dentist, various surgical instruments are used to gently loosen the wisdom tooth from any connective tissue in the tooth's socket. The use of the high-speed hand piece may be used on and off throughout the extraction. The same procedure applies for a wisdom tooth that was already erupted. It may be necessary for the dentist to cut the tooth into sections before it is removed. This is done because the tooth is at risk for breaking while it is being removed from the socket.

  4. Once the wisdom tooth is loose, or it had been completely sectioned, it is ready to be removed. The dentist will remove the wisdom tooth with a selection of surgical instruments that are designed to remove the tooth from the tooth's socket.

  5. Now that the wisdom teeth are gone, it may be necessary for the dentist to use stitches to close the area where the teeth were. This is done for surgically removed impacted wisdom teeth and in cases where the dentist feels the patient will heal better with stitches in place.

  6. The dentist will give you some post-operative instructions to follow, along with a small amount of gauze for you to bite down on.

Wisdom tooth removal, albeit a nerve-racking thought, is a very common dental procedure. Wisdom teeth may be removed in your dental office or in a surgical office.

The best advice I can offer someone undergoing wisdom teeth removal is to thoroughly follow the instructions your dentist gives you before your oral surgery and after your wisdom tooth removal surgery. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your wisdom tooth removal, speak to your dentist before the date of your surgery.

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  5. How Are Wisdom Teeth Removed (Extracted)? - Dentistry

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