What Wisdom Tooth Removal Looks Like From Your Dentist's Perspective (Hint: It's Not Fun)

If you’ve already had your wisdom teeth removed then you know how lucky you are to be done with that nightmare. Wisdom teeth are our third set of molars located in the furthest depths of the mouth. They’re also one of the most useless human body parts, even if they are the reason for some pretty funny post-op patient videos. As much as you might have hated having your wisdom teeth removed, you'd be lying if you said you haven’t thought about what it looks like from the oral surgeon’s perspective.

The majority of wisdom teeth become partially or fully trapped below the gums, which creates a hard-to-reach space where bacteria can grow, eventually resulting in pain, inflammation, infection, and potentially tooth decay. Dentists tend to decide when wisdom tooth removal is necessary based on these signs. Wisdom tooth removal entails an incision in the gum tissue, removal of bones that block the tooth root, breaking the tooth down in sections, and removing each piece of the divided tooth. Besides some cleaning and stitching, the procedure is actually pretty quick, but certainly not painless.

Wisdom tooth removal. Imgur

We have three options when it comes to anesthesia for wisdom tooth extraction: local, sedation, or general anesthesia. Local anesthesia involves one or more Novocain injections near the site of extraction to numb the gums. Sedation anesthesia also involves numbing injections, but also an IV line that suppresses our consciousness. Undergoing general anesthesia, the most drastic measure, means the patient will be completely unconscious.

This video provided by Dr. Amik Maytesyan shows what a wisdom tooth removal operation actually looks like. Maytesyan is working on a fully impacted wisdom tooth, which means the tooth didn't have enough room to fully erupt from the gums. Impacted wisdom teeth almost always require breaking the tooth and removing it piece by piece. Ouch!

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