When considering the removal of wisdom teeth, commonly known as third molars, many patients have questions about the duration of the procedure and what it entails. Wisdom tooth removal is a routine procedure that we perform often at the office of Steven C. Hewett, DDS in Champions Gate, FL.
How Long Does Wisdom Tooth Removal Take?
The procedure itself usually takes around half an hour, depending on how many teeth are being removed. However, the total length of your time with us will depend on a few other factors, such as whether the pre-surgical assessment has already been done and what type of sedation is used.
Before the extraction, we conduct a thorough assessment, which includes dental X-rays to determine the position of the wisdom teeth and their potential impact on your oral health. This initial consultation helps us develop a personalized treatment plan, taking into account factors such as tooth position, root formation, and the impact on adjacent teeth.
The Wisdom Teeth Removal Procedure
The duration of the actual removal process varies depending on several factors, including the number of teeth being extracted, their position, and whether they are impacted. Typically, a single wisdom tooth extraction can take about 20 to 30 minutes. However, if all four wisdom teeth are being removed at once, the procedure may last up to an hour or more.
If the tooth is impacted, we may need to make an incision in the gum and remove bone material to access the tooth. The tooth may also be sectioned into smaller parts to facilitate a less invasive removal. These additional steps can extend the duration of the procedure.
We offer various sedation options to ensure your comfort during the procedure, and the type of sedation used can also influence the length of the appointment. Local anesthesia numbs the area, while sedatives or general anesthesia can make you drowsy or fully asleep during the procedure. The choice of sedation will be discussed with you beforehand and tailored to your needs.
What To Expect
On the day of the extraction, we ensure that you are comfortable and well-informed about the steps we will take. We administer a local anesthetic to numb the area around the wisdom teeth, ensuring a pain-free experience. For more complex cases or for patients who feel anxious about the procedure, we may use sedation dentistry options to provide a more relaxed state.
Once the anesthetic takes effect, we proceed with the extraction. If the tooth has fully erupted, it may be removed like any other tooth. However, if the wisdom tooth is impacted, we may need to make an incision in the gum and remove bone material to access the tooth. In some cases, we may also divide the tooth into sections to remove it more easily.
Post-Operative Care and Recovery
After the removal, the focus shifts to your recovery. The initial healing period typically lasts a few days, during which you might experience swelling, bruising, and discomfort, which can be managed with medications prescribed by us. The complete healing process, however, may take several weeks. It’s important to follow our post-operative care instructions carefully to ensure a smooth recovery.
About Wisdom Teeth
These molars are vestiges of our evolutionary past; remnants of a time when our ancestors had larger jaws with more teeth for a diet that included tougher plant material and raw meat. In the modern human mouth, which has evolved to be smaller, the addition of these large molars often leads to problems due to insufficient space for them to erupt properly. As a result, they may emerge at odd angles, become partially erupted, or remain completely impacted within the jawbone.
Implications of Wisdom Tooth Eruption
When wisdom teeth do not have enough room to come in normally, several issues can occur. They may crowd or damage adjacent teeth, the jawbone, or nerves. They can also be trapped within the jaw, which can lead to impaction, a condition where the teeth are encased by gum tissue or bone and cannot emerge normally.
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain, swelling, jaw stiffness, and general illness. Moreover, partially erupted wisdom teeth can create an opening for bacteria to enter around the tooth and cause an infection, which can lead to pain, swelling, jaw stiffness, and general illness. These teeth are also more prone to tooth decay and gum disease because their hard-to-reach location and awkward positioning make them difficult to clean.
A Routine Procedure
The removal of wisdom teeth is a common dental procedure designed to prevent the complications associated with their eruption. The process involves a dentist or oral surgeon extracting the teeth, typically under local anesthesia, sedation, or general anesthesia. The procedure is considered routine and simple for dental professionals, and it entails creating an incision in the gum tissue to expose the tooth and bone.
Dentists may remove bone that blocks access to the tooth root and divide the tooth into sections if it’s easier to remove in pieces. After the tooth is removed, the site is cleaned, and the wound is closed with stitches, if necessary, to promote healing. A small gauze pad is placed over the extraction site to help stop bleeding.
The Case for Removal
The proactive removal of wisdom teeth is a subject of some debate in the dental community, but regardless, one thing is agreed upon for certain: it’s always easier to remove wisdom teeth before a certain. Younger tissues can recover faster from surgery, and in the older mouth, the wisdom teeth may be more entwined with the jaw, making the late teens or early twenties the optimal time for removal. Dentists or oral surgeons often recommend removing wisdom teeth before they become problematic to prevent more complicated surgeries later on.
The choice is yours, and some people wait until wisdom teeth present an actual problem before removing them, but it’s always wise to listen to your dentist. A dentist can examine a mouth and give a personalized recommendation based on their experience and knowledge about how likely it is you or your child will have serious complications from wisdom teeth in the future.
See How Easy Wisdom Tooth Removal Can Be
Wisdom tooth removal is easier than ever with sedation dentistry, and the younger you address the issue, the easier the procedure is. Come talk to us at the office of Steven C. Hewett, DDS in Champions Gate, FL now to learn more.