While the idea sounds painful to most people, having your wisdom teeth extracted is very common and not as scary as you think. Wisdom teeth often cause problems as they are trying to protrude through the gums. When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it means the tooth is coming in at an angle and not straight through the gum line. This can cause extreme pain, as the tooth may come in unevenly or may only emerge partially.
When a wisdom tooth only partially emerges, a flap of skin called an operculum may form over the tooth. This can make the tooth hard to clean, and pieces of food may be caught under the skin. This makes it easy for an infection, called pericoronitis, to develop. Though the infection usually goes away on its own, it can cause swelling and pain in the affected area.
Your dentist will be able to tell you if one or more of your wisdom teeth is problematic and needs to be removed. Wisdom tooth removals can range from a single tooth to removal of all four wisdom teeth at once. Based on the preference of the doctor and/or the patient, a local or general anesthetic can be used, depending on the number of wisdom teeth to be extracted.
The tooth extraction may be a fairly simple procedure or a more complex one in which the tooth can’t simply be lifted out of the gums. Your doctor will discuss the method that will best serve you.