Wisdom teeth are the 3rd and final molars on each side of the top and bottom of your mouth. Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to develop and grow in between the ages of 17 and 25. An Adult mouth can have up to 32 teeth, consisting of 16 on the top and 16 on the bottom. However, the average mouth can usually only comfortably hold 28 teeth. Some people never develop wisdom teeth at all. If your wisdom teeth have erupted, are well aligned and do not compromise the gum tissue, there is no need for removal. However, most of the time this is not the case and removal of some or all of the third molars is highly recommended to avoid various problems.
Horizontal Impaction. The tooth is positioned horizontally rather than vertically.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
The tooth is positioned horizontally rather than vertically.
The tooth is in a vertical position but does not have enough room to erupt through the gum.
When the tooth is positioned tilting toward the 2nd molar.
When the tooth is positioned tilting toward the back of the mouth.
Potential Problems Caused
Wisdom teeth can cause many different problems. Extracting your wisdom teeth will take care of these problems. Some of these problems include:
- Major or minor pain
- Trapped food and debris behind the teeth
- Infection or gum disease
- Decay in partially erupted teeth
- Damage to the surrounding bone or other teeth
- A cyst (fluid filled sac)
- Movement on other teeth caused by pressure
Even if your wisdom teeth are symptom free now, it is likely to develop one or more of these issues if left in place. It is common that younger adults have an easier time recovering from this procedure than older adults, so the sooner the better.
What to expect
If it has been recommended that you have your wisdom teeth removed, we are experienced and fully equipped to perform this procedure in our office. First, have your doctor send us all relevant x-rays and notes. Upon receipt, we will schedule your wisdom teeth extraction with our in-house Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. This is a type of dental surgeon that has both a dental degree and has been specially trained for 4 years in surgery focused on the hard and soft tissue of the head, neck, jaw and face. The doctor will evaluate your teeth with our state-of- the art cone beam technology. Cone beam gives 3D images of your teeth, soft tissue, bone, nerve pathways and sinus cavities. This scan guides and allows the doctor to extract your teeth with the utmost precision. We offer two levels of sedation. The level of the sedation will be based on the recommendation of the treating provider. The two types of sedation offered are Nitrous Oxide and full IV sedation. Our staff are trained for both types of sedation. After the sedation has taken effect, the surgeon will extract the teeth. Sutures will be placed in the gum. These stitches will dissolve, so there is no need for a follow up appointment to remove them. After the procedure is complete the patient will recover for a short time from the anesthesia in the office.
There are some things to keep in mind when planning your appointment.
- You will be given fasting instructions specific to your appointment
- Surgery may be performed at your initial appointment with our office
- Any child under the age of 18 MUST be accompanied by parent or legal guardian
- A driver must be present at all times during the surgery
- Recovery from a surgery with sedation could take up to 24 hours