Extraction of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are the last molars to come out. They are perfectly harmless when in proper alignment, but they can cause pain and infection when they are misaligned or come out only partially (impaction). Wisdom teeth can also erupt horizontally or at different angles. When this happens, the wisdom tooth crowds out surrounding teeth and squeezes the nerves and bone.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth that are trapped in the gums or partially erupt through the gums are called impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth create an opening for bacteria to enter and collect. The result is infection, swelling, tenderness, pain, and discomfort. Impacted wisdom teeth are also hard to brush and floss, so they are more susceptible to cavities and gum disease.
Impacted wisdom teeth should be extracted to eliminate pain and other dental problems. Your Grand Junction, CO dentist performs wisdom tooth extraction under local anesthetic. Dr. Benefield also provides sedation dentistry for anxious or fearful patients worried about wisdom teeth extraction procedures.
Wisdom teeth extraction is generally more straightforward in younger patients, and if the tooth is in a normal position. During the consultation, Dr. Benefield will check your mouth and order X-rays to determine the condition and placement of the tooth. A fully-erupted wisdom tooth can be pulled out like any other tooth; however, if the tooth is under the gums or in the jawbone, the dentist has to make an incision and remove the tooth piece by piece to minimize damage to the surrounding bone. The incision is then closed, and the area is allowed to heal.
Before extraction, the area is numbed with local anesthetic. Sedatives can also be used to help you relax. The effect of nitrous oxide sedation wears off fairly quickly, so you can drive yourself home. The effect of oral sedatives may last longer, so you should have someone able to pick you up from the clinic.
Visit Grand Dental in Colorado today to learn more about wisdom tooth extraction. You can also call (970) 243-8580 or click here to make an appointment.