How are wisdom teeth extracted?
Depending on how teeth develop, extraction can be a simple tooth “pulling,” or a surgical removal. For teeth that develop without impaction, dentists may be able to pull the tooth using forceps and local anesthesia. Typically with minimal surgical removal of bone and tissue, the dentist can rock the tooth back and forth until loosened enough to extract. Impacted teeth and those that are otherwise hard to pull will be surgically unimpacted. For some patients, local anesthesia is enough to numb and relax them during surgical removal, but depending on the number of teeth to be removed and the extent to which the tooth has fused to the gum tissue and jawbone, additional sedation or general anesthesia may be necessary. The dentist cuts away gum and bone tissue in order to extract the tooth. Once the tooth is removed, the incision is closed with stitches. After the procedure, dry sockets and bone spurs may still cause pain for patients. Dry socket occurs when the protective blood clot that forms following surgery is dislodge. Luckily, this extremely painful side effect of tooth removal is extremely rare (affecting about 5% of people), and easily treated with a quick in-office procedure that promotes healing. Spurs of bone that break off of the jaw or tooth root during extraction can also cause discomfort but are easily removed. Contact your dentist immediately if you believe you’ve experienced dry socket or bone spur.