Wisdom tooth extraction is a very important treatment for many teenage and adult dental patients. Our Orland Park dentists are here to help you understand how wisdom tooth extraction works, and why it is important to a person’s oral health. Today we are going to be reviewing some of the key terms that are used when talking about wisdom tooth extraction—we hope that this brief primer helps you make sense of all of the information out there about wisdom teeth! And keep in mind, you can always reach out to our dental team for help.
Wisdom teeth: these are the teeth that sit behind your second sets of molars. Wisdom teeth usually do not start to emerge until the patient is in his or her late teens or early twenties.
Impacted wisdom teeth: impacted wisdom teeth are those teeth that are unable to break through the gum tissue and emerge, as normal teeth would. Impacted teeth get “stuck” in the bone tissue and oral tissues—this can lead to all kind of issues such as infection and dental trauma.
Oral cyst: a cyst is an area of irritation and infection that is filled with blood, pus, or clear fluid. Cysts are common side effects of impacted wisdom teeth.
Local anesthetic: this is a type of anesthesia that numbs a specific area of the body. Local anesthesia is often administered near the wisdom teeth before your dentist removes your third set of molars. Local anesthesia does not render you unconscious.
Blood clot: after your wisdom teeth are removed, your blood will clot (congeal and come together) near the site of extraction. This is a very important part of the healing process, and you do not want to disturb the clot. This is why patients are given very specific instruction on how to care for their smiles post-extraction (including being told not to use straws to drink).
Dry socket: after your tooth is extracted, there will be a resulting hole or “socket” in your jaw and gum tissue. A dry socket occurs when that empty space become inflamed. The post-treatment blood clot is designed to protect this vulnerable socket—when a blood clot is dislodged our disintegrated you will likely develop a painful dry socket.
Our Tinley Park wisdom teeth dentists are happy to provide you with any more information that you may need. Please give our team a call to learn more, or to schedule your personal consultation!