Many patients are advised to have their wisdom teeth removed by their dentist or orthodontist. What are the so-called wisdom teeth exactly? Can you expect any pain after the procedure? Here you can find out everything you should know about wisdom teeth and surgery.
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to come through in humans. They usually breakthrough into the oral cavity at the age of 18-25, as the rear molars. The term comes from the “old” age at which they breakthrough. Normally every person has four wisdom teeth that were created before birth. However, some people do not have all four or no wisdom teeth at all.
The teeth do not have to be removed. But often there is no room in the jaw to get through. This is because our jaws are getting smaller and smaller as humans develop. How many wisdom teeth you have and whether they have room to erupt can be determined by the dentist using an overview X-ray.
The course of a wisdom tooth operation
When do the wisdom teeth have to come out?
Wisdom tooth surgery when there is insufficient space
Wisdom teeth often not only have too brief space, they are sometimes also on the side or at an angle and thus cannot grow normally either. So, it can be that they press against the teeth that are already there and thus damage them.
Wisdom tooth surgery if there is a risk of inflammation
Often the wisdom teeth can only come through halfway and are still covered by some mucous membrane. There are many bacteria beneath this that cause permanent, underlying inflammation. Not only is this stress on the immune system, but it can also lead to acute inflammation, which is accompanied by severe pain and swelling. If such a permanent inflammation is present, they should remove wisdom teeth.
Wisdom tooth surgery for caries
Wisdom teeth are difficult to brush even when they have come through fully. Since they are so far back in the mouth, they cannot be cleaned adequately with a toothbrush. Therefore, they are very often affected by severe tooth decay, which also speaks in favor of removal.
Which doctors do a removal?
You can have wisdom teeth removed by an oral surgeon, oral and maxillofacial surgeon, or dentist. Find a doctor who already has experience with the removal and can therefore react quickly and adequately if the procedure should take an unforeseen course. You even save the costs of general anesthesia.
Different ways to pull wisdom teeth
Whether the wisdom teeth must be extracted in a relatively short outpatient procedure or removed in a somewhat longer operation depends on whether they have already grown out properly or hide in the jaw.
It is also possible to have either all four wisdom teeth removed during an operation or initially only the teeth on one side and a few weeks later the teeth on the other side.
Both aspects determine how severe your pain will be after removing the wisdom teeth.
First option: short surgery with local anesthesia
If your wisdom teeth have already largely or fully erupted, they can usually be pulled out very quickly and easily. The dentist, oral surgeon, or maxillofacial surgeon will apply a local anesthetic using a syringe. Only when you no longer feel any pain will the teeth be pulled with pliers.
Second option: longer surgery with local anesthesia
If the wisdom teeth hide in the jaw or very slanted, the procedure is more complex and is performed by an oral or maxillofacial surgeon. The procedure also takes place under local anesthesia. Since the mucous membrane, the bones must be removed to reach to the wisdom teeth, this type of procedure is more likely to result in slight pain or swelling afterward.
Third option: operate out wisdom teeth under general anesthesia
In rare cases, the surgeon recommends general anesthesia, usually only if the procedure is unusually complex. Even anxious patients who fear severe pain sometimes opt for general anesthesia.
A course of a wisdom tooth operation
- The dentist or surgeon will apply a local anesthetic with a syringe
- The gums are opened by an incision and detached from the bone
- The tooth is pulled in one piece or gradually divided and removed
- Once all the teeth are obliterated, the wounds are sutured
- It removes the sutures 7 to 10 days after the procedure
Which level of pain can we expect after the wisdom teeth operation?
Some patients experience pain after the procedure, and some do not. Swelling on the cheek is also possible. The likelihood of pain depends heavily on the size of the procedure.
If the operation is necessary, the costs of the operation will be covered by your statutory health insurance.
However, you may incur additional costs of 100.00 to 200.00 euros if you opt for general anesthesia or sedation with laughing gas instead of local anesthesia.