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Extractions and Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth extractions are common procedures, and these are really nothing to fear. Wisdom teeth don’t always grow in properly, and crowding, partial eruptions, and impactions are just some of the reasons why wisdom teeth may need to be removed.

When a wisdom tooth is impacted, this means that the tooth is not growing in a way that will allow it to erupt from straight the gums, and this will cause the tooth or teeth to grow in a way that places pressure on nearby teeth while under the gum line. Impacted wisdom teeth will often cause some pain, and the extraction can serve as a great relief.

In cases of partial eruptions, a wisdom tooth will erupt through the gums, but not all the way, and this can cause problems as well. In cases of partial eruptions, a flap of skin called the operculum can form over the tooth, and this skin can easily trap food and debris causing infection. Partially erupted wisdom teeth are particularly difficult to clean properly, and this lack of cleaning is what causes the food debris to remain trapped for long enough for an infection to take place. While these infections will often clear up easily on their own, they can cause a great deal of pain or discomfort.

Wisdom teeth extractions can be done one at time, depending on how many problem teeth a patient has, or all at once, and this decision is left up to you and your dentist. Wisdom tooth extractions are treated as individual cases at Stony Brook, and we want you to have a say in just how your procedure will go.

Another decision that will have to be made before the extraction process can begin is whether to use a local anesthetic or general anesthetic during the procedure. For patients who would prefer to be sedated, or those in a particularly severe impaction situation, a general anesthetic is often recommended, while partial eruptions may be better candidates for local. If a general anesthetic is used, you will need a friend or family member to drive you to and from your procedure.

In many cases, the first step in the surgery is the gum tissue being cut slightly to reveal the hidden tooth or hidden rest of the tooth, and the dentist will then grip the tooth and move it from side to side in order to loosen the tooth from within the gums. After the tooth is sufficiently loosened, it will then be pulled from the gums and extracted. In some cases, however, the tooth may be impacted too tightly for this type of removal, and it may need to be broken apart before a complete extraction may be performed.

Depending on the incision performed and the site of extraction, the site may then be sutured once the extraction is complete. These sutures are dissolvable after a certain length of time, and this allows you the benefit of not needing to come back to have them removed.

The site can be expected to bleed a bit after the extraction has been performed, and we recommend setting aside a day or two of rest after your extraction and before going back to your daily routine.


The content offered on this website is for informational purposes only and does not seek to diagnose and/or treat any physical, medical, dental, and/or periodontal condition or disease. In addition, the offering and consumption of this content does not establish a doctor patient relationship. If you are experiencing any pain, discomfort, swelling, and/or bleeding in your mouth and/or jaw this may represent a serious condition and can only be diagnosed and treated by visiting a medical doctor, dentist, and/or periodontist in person.

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