If you still have all four of your wisdom teeth, you want to take care of them properly. But if you develop a cavity, or hole, in one of your wisdom teeth, you may wonder if a family dentist will extract the tooth or fill it. The treatment for your tooth may depend on several factors, including the depth and location of the cavity inside it. Learn more about the cavity in your wisdom tooth below.
How Deep Is the Cavity?
The first thing you want to do is allow a family dentist to examine your wisdom tooth. A dental exam allows a family provider to determine the:
- location of the cavity
- placement of the cavity
- condition of the cavity
If the cavity sits close to the surface of the tooth, and there's no sign of an infection inside the tooth, a dentist may restore it with a filling and/or crown. If the cavity sits deep within the tooth's pulp chamber, and you exhibit multiple signs of an infection, the tooth may not be healthy enough to save. A dentist will most likely extract the tooth.
What Does the Extraction Process Involve?
Before a dentist extracts your infected wisdom tooth, they may need to prepare you for the procedure first. The first thing you may need to do is take penicillin or another antibiotic to get rid of the infection. Some types of bacteria may be extremely dangerous if they escape the tooth and infect other areas of the face, head, and body.
After the infection in your tooth subsides, a dentist will begin the extraction process. A dentist may:
- numb the nerves around the tooth with medication
- disinfect the tissues around the tooth with antiseptics
- extract the tooth with forceps and other dental tools
A provider may also need to stitch or treat the gums around the empty tooth socket after the procedure. The treatment can prevent dry socket and other serious complications. A dentist will also discuss other things you can do to prevent dry socket in your tooth socket.
After the extraction:
- see a dental provider regularly to monitor the rest of your wisdom teeth
- reduce your sugar intake to prevent new wisdom tooth cavities
- brush regularly to keep all of your teeth healthy
If you follow the tips above, you and a dentist can keep the rest of your wisdom teeth for years to come.
For more details about the cavity in your wisdom tooth, consult a family dentist.