Even with medical practices remaining open to emergency patients, you’re probably going to feel more reluctant than usual about calling your oral surgeon in Cambridge for an appointment. However, there are some procedures that you just can’t afford to put off – wisdom teeth extraction being a key example. If you or a young adult in your family is experiencing the pain of an impacted wisdom tooth, you need to schedule a visit regardless of COVID-19. Read on to learn why this procedure is so important and how your oral surgeon can still safely perform it even in the midst of a pandemic.
How Will I Know That a Wisdom Tooth Needs to Be Removed?
Not everyone will need to have their wisdom teeth removed, but more often than not, an extraction will be required if there’s simply not enough room in the mouth to accommodate for the additional structure. When that happens, the wisdom tooth will likely be misaligned, partially impacted, or fully impacted; this is usually very painful and could end up harming the rest of your teeth. As soon as you notice persistent jaw pain and stiffness, pain around where the wisdom tooth is located, or swelling in the gum tissue, you should get in touch with your oral surgeon.
Why is Wisdom Tooth Extraction Important?
Leaving wisdom teeth alone often leads to serious damage. Here are just some of the potential consequences of not having the surgery performed in a timely manner:
- You’ll constantly feel pain or soreness around your jaw, ear, throat, or the side of your face.
- Infections could develop around the wisdom teeth and spread to other parts of the body. (This is because wisdom teeth are often much harder to clean properly, leaving them prone to decay and putting nearby gum tissue at risk.)
- The other teeth might be damaged or start to shift because of the pressure from an impacted wisdom tooth.
- A jaw cyst could form and destroy the underlying bone tissue.
All of these issues become more severe and far less manageable as time goes on; getting rid of wisdom teeth now will save you a lot of trouble.
Is It Safe to Have Wisdom Teeth Extracted Right Now?
The need to remove wisdom teeth is often urgent enough to count as an emergency. When you arrive at the practice for your appointment, you can be sure that every effort will be made to keep you (and others) safe from the spread of infectious agents. Your oral surgeon will be wearing protective gear and will thoroughly sterilize the operating area as well as their tools before beginning the procedure. Additional precautions have been implemented at many practices to account for the risk of COVID-19.
If you still feel nervous about having an extraction done right now, get in touch with your oral surgeon and ask about their infection control practices. You can also ask for their advice regarding your wisdom teeth if you have any doubts about your need for a removal.
About the Author
Dr. Jeff Lee attended dental school at the Ohio State University College of Dentistry before completing his four-year residency in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. He has received numerous awards for his professional excellence and is an expert in performing various surgical procedures. His Cambridge practice, Muskingum Valley Oral Surgery, is still open to perform emergency procedures; if you have a wisdom tooth that needs to be removed as soon as possible or would like to ask a question, get in touch with Dr. Lee through his website or call (740) 432-8768.