Many people wonder why they have wisdom teeth in the first place, and it remains one of life's great mysteries. What isn't a mystery, however, is the pain that an impacted wisdom tooth can cause, and if you're in this position currently, you will be exploring your options. How can a dentist deal with this issue?
Unable to Erupt
If you have an impacted wisdom tooth, it's grown in such a way that it cannot "erupt," or break through the skin in the usual way. Sometimes it can grow at an angle and may come up against a bone, so it is unable to proceed any further. When this happens, a patient may feel a nagging pain that may come and go. Sometimes, the tooth will break the surface just enough to allow tiny food particles to enter, and this can quickly cause an infection.
Need for Action
It is essential to consult a dentist if you have ongoing pain associated with a wisdom tooth, especially if there is a risk of infection. Without treatment, this could develop into periodontitis, a much more severe condition.
When you present to the dentist with an impacted wisdom tooth, they will take an x-ray to reveal the extent of the problem. They will typically treat any infection before they take further action but then will probably suggest that they remove the tooth.
This procedure is a little more complicated than a standard extraction, and you may choose a general anaesthetic. The dentist may have to remove a small portion of bone if it is in the way but may also use a special tool to break up the tooth while it is in place. If so, this will make it easier to extract.
Following the procedure, the dentist may close the area with a suture and give you a prescription for mild painkillers. The stitching should dissolve automatically, and while there may be some initial swelling, this should soon subside.
Other Wisdom Tooth
You do, of course, have four wisdom teeth, and you should discuss the condition of the others with your dentist at the same time. It's not unusual for them to recommend that a pair be removed at the same time, especially if you opt for general anaesthetic.
Don't delay any longer. Call your dentist and make an appointment so that you can get back to your normal life.