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Wisdom Tooth Surgery And Impacted Wisdom Tooth

Jan 13, 2008
There was once a time when dentists were associated with terror and extreme pain. Believe it or not but back in the 18th century, tooth extractions were done without local anaesthesia! And it was not until the late 18th century when none other than a dentist started using the first anaesthesia which was an ether. It yielded unpredictable results though and it was a very risky venture. But then again, without those first attempts, modern anaesthesia wouldn't have been borne!

But well, that is not the topic we have for this article. Tooth extractions and wisdom tooth surgery are one of the many common oral surgical procedures that are done today. And yes they are done with local anaesthesia nowadays. In fact, there are two choices for your anaesthesia; local anaesthesia and general anaesthesia. And they are very safe too. How many times have you heard the phrase "I am on medical leave. I had my wisdom tooth removed." At least once in your lifetime I bet. Wisdom tooth surgery or tooth extraction for that matter is so common place that it is a wonder that with modern anaesthesia and equipments available many people are still scared of them! Could it be due to fear of the unknown? Many people imagined dentist to be evil people wielding big, sharp and sinister looking instruments. But honestly, dentists are just human like us! And there are many nice ones around too!

When someone goes for a wisdom tooth surgery, they are normally given 5-7 days of medical leave. This is to allow them time to recuperate and also avoid the embarrassment of facing the public with a swollen face. Most of the time they are not debilitated in any sense and they are able to move around and do their normal daily activities. They however will be on soft diet for a while and probably wont be in too much an appetite to eat.

You can either go to a normal dental surgeon or you can go to an oral maxillofacial surgeon to get your wisdom tooth removed. Both are equally adept in surgery with the oral maxillofacial surgeons having a slight upper hand due to their advanced training. Cost wise, the oral maxillofacial surgeon will probably cost more being a specialist and all.

Wisdom tooth surgery is actually part of a wider scope of surgery called dento-alveolar surgery. Any surgery involving tooth in the mouth is termed dento-alveolar surgery and you can have other teeth that may require surgical removal other than your common wisdom tooth. The second most common tooth requiring surgery is arguably the canine which more often than not needs surgical removal. Sometimes cysts are associated with the wisdom tooth or tooth to be removed and these are normally removed together with the tooth.

Wisdom tooth can be erupted, impacted or buried. Erupted wisdom tooth can be simply removed via extraction though in some cases you need surgery to remove them. Impacted wisdom tooth more often than not requires surgical removal and all buried wisdom tooth needs surgery to remove them! The associated degree of impaction will determine the difficulty of removal and the more difficult it is the higher the chance of numbness of the lip, chin and tongue on the side of the wisdom tooth being removed. There is no involvement of motor nerves eg the facial nerve and henceforth movement of the face and speech is not affected. There is also no correlation between wisdom or intelligence with wisdom tooth removal and till proven otherwise that shall remain a myth and an old wife's tale.

But what is important to take note of is to follow the post-operative instructions and medications given by the dentist or oral surgeon. Many a times unnecessary trips back to the doctor have been made on false alarm of bleeding that could have been stopped if they know what to do. And very often, patients panic if not told beforehand when their face swells up. Swelling is normal and part and parcel of healing. Pain too can be controlled with the painkillers given and is normally not a cause for worry but bleeding can be a problem and knowing when is it a problem and when it is not is important.......
About the Author
This article is written by an oral surgeon in government practice. To learn more about wisdom tooth extraction, wisdom tooth surgery, post wisdom teeth removal care and risks including what to look out for, please click on the links above.
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