Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Wisdom teeth are the 3rd and the third 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 future problems.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
An Impacted wisdom tooth is a third molar that does not erupt. It is trapped underneath the gum tissue. Impacted teeth may also be partial erupted, meaning they have emerged part way through the gum tissue, but will never be able to grow in completely. There are 4 types of impaction based on the position of the trapped tooth.
Horizontal Impaction. The tooth is positioned horizontally rather than vertically.
Vertical Impaction: The tooth is positioned vertically but does not have enough room to erupt through the gum.
Mesial Impaction: The tooth is positioned tilting toward the second molar.
Distal Impaction: 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, you may develop one or more of the above issues if they are left in place. Since it is common for younger adults to have an easier time recovering from this procedure than older adults, we suggest taking care of your wisdom sooner than later.
What to expect
If we recommend you have your wisdom teeth removed, we are experienced and fully equipped to perform this procedure in our office. Once we receive the relevant x-rays and notes, we will schedule your appointment with our in-house oral and maxillofacial surgeon, who 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 and allows the surgeon to extract your teeth with utmost precision.
We offer two levels of sedation for your wisdom teeth extraction: nitrous oxide and full IV sedation. The level of the sedation will be based on the recommendation of the treating provider. Our staff is trained for both types of sedation. After the sedation has taken effect, the surgeon will extract the teeth and place sutures 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 while still 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