Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the final teeth to develop. Most of us have four wisdom teeth, one in each corner of the mouth. They usually emerge during our late teens or early twenties.
Oftentimes, wisdom teeth become trapped, or impacted, in the jawbone and cause crowding, displacement, decay, infection, or gum disease. Impacted wisdom teeth can grow in many different directions - horizontally, vertically, or at an angle.
|Angular, bony impaction of third molar (wisdom tooth).|
|Soft tissue impaction of third molar (wisdom tooth).|
In most cases, it is recommended that impacted wisdom teeth are extracted.
Wisdom tooth surgery is performed, usually under local anesthesia, in your dentists office, an outpatient surgical facility, or a hospital. Make arrangements for a responsible adult to drive you home. Plan to rest at home for the remainder of the day.
|Incision is made and overlying bone is removed, exposing crown of impacted tooth.|
|Tooth is extracted whole or surgically sectioned. The site is sutured closed.|
To ease any discomfort and promote healing:
Call your doctor immediately in case of excessive bleeding or swelling, persistent, severe pain, or fever.
Be sure to follow the special home care instructions provided by your dental professional.
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