Wisdom teeth are the rearmost molars that tend to start emerging during the late teenage years. Due to coming in so much later than the other teeth, wisdom teeth can sometimes run into problems during eruption and become impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth need to be extracted to prevent potential infections, pain, and tooth crowding issues.
There are two different types of extractions a family dentistry specialist like Chris T. Thomas, DDS or oral surgeon can perform. The procedure that's right for you mostly depends on the nature of your impaction.
A simple extraction means that the dentist can remove the wisdom tooth with minimal effort and incisions in the area. So the wisdom tooth is essentially removed in the same way an emerged tooth would be removed except the wisdom tooth might require gum cutting to gain access.
What types of impactions tend to qualify for a simple extraction? Soft tissue and partial bony impactions are the most likely candidates.
Soft tissue impactions happen when the jawbone has enough room for the tooth to emerge but the overlaying gums aren't thick enough to spread out and let the tooth poke through. The wisdom tooth can be somewhat stuck in the bone still but is mostly hindered by the gum tissue, which is cut during a simple extraction anyway.
Partial bony impactions happen when a tooth has room to emerge from both the bone and gums but doesn't have the room to grow in completely without causing problems to neighboring teeth. This type of wisdom tooth can often be yanked out in a similar way to a fully emerged tooth.
Surgical extractions require some extra incisions and potential bone removal to remove a tooth that's deeply buried in the jawbone. Your dentist may have to use surgical techniques if the tooth is posing a risk to neighboring teeth if it continues to come in.
Full bony impactions tend to require surgical interventions. A full bony wisdom tooth doesn't have any room to emerge and so stays completely within the jawbone. Full bony teeth can also be more complicated when the bone-buried tooth is also growing in at an improper angle.
Failure to remove a full bony or complicated full bony tooth can cause a great deal of discomfort and start to force the neighboring tooth out of its position. The teeth can also start an infection within the jawbone, which risks creating a fistula canal and spreading to other areas of your body including the sinus canal or bloodstream.