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Wisdom Teeth: RemovalLas muelas del juicio: Extraccin

Wisdom Teeth: Removal

Wisdom teeth are often removed ina surgeon's office or in anoutpatient surgical center. Your experience depends on the position of the teeth, the number of teeth being removed, and other factors. Your surgeon may advise removing all of your wisdom teeth in a single procedure, even if they are not all causing problems. Or your surgeon may advise separate procedures for each side of the mouth.

The wisdom tooth is removed through an incision. The incision is closed with sutures.

Preparing for Surgery

Your surgeon can tell you how long the surgery is likelyto take. Including recovery from anesthesia, it may last between45minutes and2 hours. Before surgery, be sure to:

  • Arrange time off from work or school.You'll need a day or more to rest and begin to heal.

  • Tell your surgeon about any medications younormally take. Your surgeon may advise some medication changes.

  • Follow your surgeon's instructions on eating and drinking before surgery. You may be asked not to eator drink anything after the midnight before surgery.

  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Choose a shirt or blouse with short sleeves. This makes inserting anintravenous (IV) line easier.

  • Arrange for a ride home. An adult family member or friend should drive you home after surgery. Don'tdrive yourself, and don't take public transportation! The person who drives you should wait in the reception area during surgery.

How Your Tooth May Be Removed

Methods of extraction can vary.Details of the procedure will depend on:

  • The position of the tooth.

  • Whether the tooth has erupted.

  • How deeply the tooth is embedded in the bone.

  • How close the roots of the toothare to the sinuses or certain nerves or blood vessels.

Removing the Tooth

An incision may bemade in the gum. This creates a flap of gum tissue that can be folded back to expose the bone and the tooth. In some cases, the surgeon may be able to loosen the tooth and extract it with forceps. The tooth may need to be sectioned (cut into pieces). Bone around the tooth may also need to be removed. In rare cases, only the crown of the tooth is removed (coronectomy). After the tooth has been removed, any incision that was made is closed with sutures.

Anesthesia Options

The type of anesthesia youreceive depends on your surgeon's recommendation and your preference. Your insurance coverage may also be a factor. Tell your surgeon if you have had problems with anesthesia in the past. Types of anesthesia include:

  • Local anesthetic.This numbs the area around the tooth to be extracted. Local anesthetic is used even if another type of anesthesia is also given to you.

  • Sedative.This helps you stay relaxed but awake during surgery. Nitrous oxide ("laughing gas") is one type of sedative. Other sedatives are given in pill form or by IV.

  • General anesthesia.This puts you to sleep during surgery. Your surgeon may advise using it if the extraction is likely to be difficult. Or it may be an option if you prefer to be asleep.

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Bernard L. Hoffman, III, DDS

Bernard L. Hoffman, III, DDS

General, Implant and Restorative Dentistry

My father was a dentist and I enjoyed the lifestyle that dentistry provided me as a child. I enjoy the fact that dentistry is such a challenge...

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Ana Paula Hoffman, DDS, MSc, PhD

Ana Paula Hoffman, DDS, MSc, PhD

General, Children and Cosmetic Dentistry

I always liked the medical field, but I didn't want to be a physician. Dentistry was the right profession, where I could help patients, providing them...

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