Wisdom teeth extraction is a procedure that most people need to undergo. The idea of having teeth removed may sound frightening, but an oral surgeon can make the operation fast and painless. Here are four things you should know about wisdom teeth removal:
1. It is usually performed in the late teen years.
Everyone has wisdom teeth. Unlike the rest of your adult teeth, wisdom teeth usually emerge later in life. Most people don't have their wisdom teeth begin to emerge until they're in their late teen years. Your wisdom teeth will be visible on the annual x-rays your dentist takes of your teeth. Your dentist will use their expertise to decide when it's time to have your wisdom teeth extracted.
2. It should be performed by an oral surgeon.
Your normal dentist is the perfect person to help you with general dental maintenance. They can even treat tooth decay by filling cavities and performing root canals. However, when you need to have your wisdom teeth removed, your dentist will likely refer you to a specialist. An oral surgeon has received the specialized training necessary to remove your wisdom teeth safely. Your dentist will help you find an oral surgeon who accepts your dental insurance.
3. It can be performed under partial or full sedation.
If you're uncomfortable with the idea of oral surgery, you may want to be sedated for the procedure. Partial sedation is one option; it means you'll be awake and able to do what your oral surgeon asks you to do, but you will feel sleepy and relaxed. Full sedation is also known as general anesthesia. If you choose this option, you will be asleep for the entirety of the procedure. General anesthesia comes with some risks, but many people feel that the opportunity to wake up after the surgery is already over is worth it. You can discuss your options with your oral surgeon to decide which type of treatment is right for you.
4. It can be performed before your wisdom teeth erupt.
In many cases, wisdom teeth extraction is a preventative surgery. Instead of waiting until your wisdom teeth emerge from your gums, your dentist may want to remove the teeth preemptively. This is especially ideal in cases where dental crowding is a possibility. Removing wisdom teeth early can keep them from impacting your other teeth, which can cause tooth misalignment and even breakage.
For more information, reach out to an oral surgeon at a clinic like the Center For Oral & Facial Surgery of Memphis PLLC.