- Cosmetic Dentistry: Before and After Pictures
- Teeth Whitening Secrets Slideshow Pictures
- Take the Dental Health Quiz
- Patient Comments: Wisdom Teeth - Removal Complications
- Patient Comments: Wisdom Teeth - Recovery
- Patient Comments: Wisdom Teeth - Pain
- Patient Comments: Wisdom Teeth - Cost
- Find a local Doctor in your town
- What are wisdom teeth?
- How do I know if I have wisdom teeth?
- Do all wisdom teeth need to be extracted?
- What if the wisdom teeth hurt and they cannot be extracted right away?
- How is wisdom tooth extraction performed?
- What is the recovery like after wisdom teeth extraction?
- What are the potential risks and complications of wisdom teeth extraction?
- How much does wisdom teeth extraction cost?
What are the potential risks and complications of wisdom teeth extraction?
Although the postoperative recovery is usually uneventful, problems can occur. The most common adverse occurrence of a wisdom tooth extraction is a dry socket or alveolar osteitis. This condition is created when the blood clot in the surgical site accidentally dislodges, leaving exposed bone Once this occurs, the bone along the extraction socket can become inflamed and painful. If a dry socket occurs, the surgeon should be contacted. If it happens, a dry socket will typically develop between two and five days after the extraction and will produce a bad smell/taste in the mouth along with constant throbbing pain. This complication is easily treated and often resolves quickly with a packing medication or stimulation of a new blood clot. More serious complications are rare but can include injury to the adjacent inferior alveolar nerve for wisdom teeth on the bottom (mandible), sinus perforation for wisdom teeth on the top (maxilla), damage to adjacent teeth, prolonged numbness or altered sensation of the tongue, lip, or gum tissue (paresthesia), or problems with the temporomandibular joint as a result of trauma to the area. The potential risks of wisdom tooth extraction should be reviewed with a dentist. If a wisdom tooth is deemed compromised, removal of the tooth in adolescence is advantageous to extracting the tooth in late adulthood. The extraction procedure and healing both become more difficult as the person gets older. Discussion with a dentist about the condition of the wisdom teeth and timeline for the extractions is important and will help minimize complications.