The wisdom teeth are the most often removed because the overwhelming majority of people just don’t have enough room for them in their mouth. As they try to come in (the operative word being “try”), they usually cause pain in the jaw, push the other teeth around, and often develop a nasty infection. We always keep a close eye on the wisdom teeth during a patient’s routine appointments, so at the earliest sign of trouble, we can remove them right away.
Most of the time, the wisdom teeth actually become stuck, or impacted, as they are erupting. In order to remove them, we need to get all the gum/bone tissue out of the way first, meaning we have to perform what is called a surgical extraction.
To do this, we simply numb a patient with local anesthetic, make a small incision in the gums to expose the bone still housing a tooth, and then remove the bone. At that point, we can extract the tooth, usually in pieces. Most patients will experience a little oral soreness in the days right after an extraction, but most are able to go back to their normal diet and daily routine in less than a week.