What is the Most Difficult Tooth to Extract?

What is the Most Difficult Tooth to Extract?
Author: Espire Dental Posted: August 17th, 2023 Category:

A wisdom tooth extraction can be challenging for various reasons, but it can be done successfully with little discomfort by an experienced dentist. 

Quick quiz: What is the most challenging tooth extraction procedure? If you guessed an impacted wisdom tooth, you’d be right! And it’s a standard dental procedure, too. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons estimates nine out of ten people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth.

Most dentists and oral surgeons recommend pulling a wisdom tooth to prevent infection, decay, and potential damage to other teeth. With the help of a dental professional, a wisdom tooth extraction is a straightforward and nearly painless procedure that will significantly improve your oral health.

What makes a wisdom tooth extraction challenging?

Wisdom teeth, or the fourth set of molars in the far back of the mouth, typically erupt between the ages of 17 and 25 and can cause pain, swollen and bleeding gums, and an unpleasant taste in the mouth. But even if they aren’t causing noticeable symptoms, dentists recommend extracting wisdom teeth at younger ages to avoid complications during the procedure. How challenging the extraction will be depends on several factors, such as:

Location. Wisdom teeth located along the lower jaw are said to be easier to remove. On the other hand, upper wisdom teeth can be more challenging due to the nearness to the sinus cavity.

Eruption status. Some wisdom teeth emerge fully from the gums and jaw, while others may only partially erupt or remain impacted entirely under the gums. An impacted wisdom tooth is considered more difficult to remove, but a skilled dentist or oral surgeon can do so with little trouble.

Angle. Believe it or not, wisdom teeth can come in at different angles. For example, it may be angled toward the front or back of your mouth. Or, it may lie horizontally within the gums. A wisdom tooth can grow straight up but be trapped beneath the gums. To remove an impacted wisdom tooth, the dentist or oral surgeon makes an incision in the gum or bone tissue. Using forceps, the dentist grabs the tooth, loosens it by moving it back and forth, and extracts it. In rare cases, the tooth may need to be broken into pieces before extraction.

Multiple roots. Wisdom teeth with multiple roots can be more challenging to remove because the roots may break during extraction. Nerve damage is possible if the roots are near the mandibular nerve.

Preparing for your wisdom tooth extraction

A wisdom tooth extraction can be more challenging than having another tooth pulled. However, an experienced dentist or oral surgeon has likely performed hundreds of wisdom tooth extraction successfully with little pain and few complications, so you have nothing to worry about. Anesthesia will make the experience comfortable, and within one to three days, you’ll feel no discomfort and forget all about the extraction. 

Your dentist will provide detailed pre-op instructions. But here are some general tips to make the procedure go smoothly: 

  • Talk to your dentist about what medications and foods you can have before the procedure.
  • Don’t smoke or drink alcohol for eight hours before your extraction time.
  • Brush your teeth beforehand.
  • Schedule a ride to and from the dental office, as operating a car after being given anesthesia is not advisable.
  • Take a few days off from work to give your body time to recover.
  • Avoid strenuous activities for a few days.
  • Stock up on soft foods such as yogurt, applesauce, soups, and ice creams. You can have smoothies, but don’t sip through a straw. You can add more solid foods to your diet a few days after the extraction.

Your extraction will be a success in the hands of a skilled dentist or oral surgeon.

Are you thinking about a wisdom tooth extraction?

Schedule an appointment at Espire’s Oklahoma City, OK, location today! Our highly trained dentists are experts in wisdom tooth extractions and can confidently perform yours without a hitch.  Don’t live near our Oklahoma City, OK, office? Find one of our other locations near you.

Oklahoma City, OK
12448 St Andrews Drive
Oklahoma City, OK 73120