Whether you are preparing your teen for their wisdom tooth removal or you have made the choice as an adult to remove your own, wisdom tooth extraction can be nerve-wracking.

To better equip you for your own wisdom tooth surgery, we’ve put together this two-part blog. In this series, we will explain what you can expect on the day of your surgical tooth extraction and lay out ways that you can prepare for the procedure.

This first post will focus on the former: demystifying the wisdom tooth removal process so that you can feel informed on the day of your surgery.

Why Are Wisdom Tooth Extractions Necessary, Anyway?
Wisdom teeth are the teeth all the way at the back of your jaw. These teeth are the final set of molars that develop and typically begin to emerge by your early twenties. While these teeth can play a helpful function if they develop correctly, they often don’t.

Wisdom teeth are so often removed because there usually isn’t enough room in the mouth for those teeth to grow properly. That can cause crowding, poor alignment, and angling as the teeth emerge, or they may not emerge.

When a tooth does not properly erupt from the gums, it is said to be impacted. Impaction can cause bacteria to grow around the tooth, which can lead to infection, decay, swelling, and severe pain.

Why Are Wisdom Teeth Recommended to Be Removed When You are Younger?
It is incredibly common for people to have their wisdom teeth removed at a younger age. There are a number of reasons for this: it can save a great deal of discomfort or pain to remove the wisdom teeth before any problems develop.

An additional reason why the best oral surgeons and dentists will often recommend having wisdom tooth removal performed during one’s teen years is that the teeth don’t fully form until sometime in the mid-twenties. That means the roots are easier to remove from the jawbone and that there is a decreased likelihood of complications.

What Does the Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure Look Like?
While no one can give you a better idea of what to expect than your oral surgeon, there are a number of things that are almost universally true. For instance, a tooth that has successfully broken through the gum can be removed with the same relative ease as any other procedure to remove a tooth.

When the tooth is impacted, however, the procedure becomes more involved. Typically, the surgeon will need to cut through the gums to have access to the tooth. Additionally, it is often necessary to remove a portion of the jawbone that the tooth is embedded in. This will typically be performed in segments to reduce the amount of bone removed.

Having a wisdom tooth removal can be intimidating. Still, the procedure is often much easier and safer than people imagine. Hopefully by knowing the reasons for and methods of wisdom tooth extraction you now feel more comfortable with the procedure.