The mere mention of extracting a tooth sends a shiver down the spine of most people, because they believe tooth extraction must be very painful. However, extraction can be much easier and less stressful than you might imagine.

Extraction of wisdom teeth is a very common dental procedure.  The four wisdom teeth at the back of the jaw are the last to come in and can become impacted, causing painful inflammation and affecting nearby teeth.

What is an impacted tooth?

When a tooth grows in at an angle instead of straight up through the gum line, we say it is impacted. This often leads to the partial emergence of the tooth and the formation of an operculum, or flap of skin, over part of the tooth. The formation of the operculum increases the likelihood of developing an inflammatory condition called pericoronitis. Pericoronitis usually goes away on its own but can cause severe pain, leading to the need to extract the tooth.

Sometimes just one wisdom tooth has a problem, but in some cases all four of them are impacted. Your dentist will check your wisdom teeth and let you know if extraction is advisable.

Extraction of impacted teeth can be simple or complex, depending on the situation. Anesthetics are provided during the procedure and pain medications may be prescribed afterward, although any discomfort from the extraction is far less than the pain of pericoronitis. Followup visits are required until the gums are fully healed.

Questions about wisdom teeth or impactions? Call us at(206) 623-3371 to book an appointment with our expert staff.

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