Posted on: 14 February 2015
Impacted wisdom teeth can be very painful because the teeth cannot get through the gums. If you have this problem, you get a really good idea of what it must feel like to be a teething baby. The teeth struggle with pushing their way up through tough flesh, the gums swelling and turning red or purple. You may even experience a fever like a baby does when your impacted teeth are trying to get through to the surface. Your dentist will address your impacted wisdom teeth in one of the following ways.
Incising the Gum Tissue
In what sounds like the most medieval medicine practice ever, your dentist will use a scalpel to cut into the gums and cut away some of the gum tissue so your impacted teeth can get through easier. It sounds more horrible than it is, but it is really effective because then your teeth can just grow and not have to work so hard. Also, it allows your dentist to get a closer look at the teeth themselves, which might reveal why you are experiencing more pain than usual.
Breaking the Teeth up and Removing Them
You will be under general anesthesia for this procedure. Your dentist or maxillofacial surgeon will use special tools and a drill to split the impacted teeth into pieces, then extract the pieces by pulling them out. Sometimes the roots of wisdom teeth are so deep that your dentist or surgeon may have to cut them out. Your gums are then stitched up and left to heal over where the impacted teeth were.
Using Braces to Push Teeth Away from Each Other
Sometimes an impacted wisdom tooth is stuck because part of it is shoved up against your nearest molar. Your dentist may send you to an orthodontist who will use some wire brackets to push the teeth away from each other and give the wisdom tooth a chance to grow out. If, however, the impacted tooth in this case will not have enough room to grow up straight, your dentist will just remove it him- or herself.
Another Possible Treatment
Although very rare, your dentist may choose to sand or grind the wisdom tooth down as well. This makes it smaller and easier to fit in your mouth, but then he or she will need to crown it or fill it like a cavity to prevent decay. Only your dentist can assess your impacted wisdom teeth for the best possible treatment plan, so do not attempt to remove them or treat the problem on your own.
To learn more, visit Arrowhead Oral & Maxillofacial surgeryShare