Wisdom Teeth Removal
Why Remove Wisdom Teeth?
When wisdom teeth grow in, they can often cause overcrowding, tooth impactions, and other discomfort in our mouths. If not extracted, wisdom teeth can increase bacteria while making it more difficult to adequately clean teeth. Over time, this can cause infection, bone loss, or even gum disease.
One of the biggest complaints among people with wisdom teeth is discomfort. This can come from overcrowding, gum infection, and tooth impaction. Wisdom teeth removal can prevent current and future discomfort.
Keep Your Teeth Straight
If you’ve gone through the process of having braces, you’ve had to work hard to get your teeth straight. If wisdom teeth are allowed to fully grow in, they can cause overcrowding, and your perfectly straight teeth may become crooked once more.
When wisdom teeth are first emerging, they often grow in at an angle, which can cause impacted teeth. These small spaces are difficult to clean at home, causing bacteria to grow freely, sometimes causing infection or even gum disease.
Why Consult With An Oral Surgeon About Wisdom Teeth?
Also called our “third molars,” wisdom teeth removal is one of the major dental treatment milestones for teens and young adults. Each year, our surgeons consult, and treat, thousands of patients for their wisdom teeth.
Depending on the patient, the appearance of your wisdom teeth can be unnoticeable or uncomfortable. For most patients, the development of your wisdom tooth begins getting tracked in early adolescence. Through this, your oral surgeon can monitor your tooth development to make sure your wisdom teeth are coming in correctly. It is usually better to evaluate and treat before major problems arise. Typically, wisdom teeth are removed when patients are 12-18 years old.
Read more about wisdom teeth removal.
Although it is easy for your oral surgeon to monitor the development of your wisdom teeth, approximately 87% of people who don’t seek treatment for their wisdom teeth have at least one impacted tooth throughout the course of their lifetime.
Why Wisdom Teeth Removal Can’t Wait?
One of the biggest mistakes patients make is to wait until their mouth and gums are in agony before seeking out medical attention. If you have put off getting your wisdom teeth looked act because you aren’t in pain, you may be inadvertently causing yourself more discomfort in the long run.
Wisdom teeth typically begin ‘erupting’ between 17 to 25. For many patients, these teeth become stuck - or impacted - on their way out. When you come in for your initial surgery consultation, our staff and surgeons will take a digital x-ray of your mouth and jaws to determine if your wisdom teeth are impacted, if there is room in your mouth for your wisdom teeth to erupt, and what the procedure will entail.
3 Types of Impacted Teeth
1. Soft Tissue Impaction
When there isn’t enough room in your mouth to allow your gum tissue to retract and allow adequate cleaning of the tooth.
2. Partial Bony Impaction
When there is just enough space for the wisdom tooth to erupt through your gum tissue partially, but the tooth cannot function properly. Patients typically experience discomfort while chewing and have difficulty cleaning the tooth, among other problems.
3. Complete Bony Impaction
When there is absolutely no space in your mouth for the tooth to erupt. Instead, the tooth remains embedded within your jawbone. In some cases, even if the tooth becomes partially visible, the extreme angle of the eruption necessitates the implementation of more sophisticated or involved surgical techniques.
The removal of your wisdom teeth is dependent on individual factors like your jaw size and shape, and your impacted wisdom teeth may erupt in unusual positions that are difficult to remove. That’s why our board-certified surgeons evaluate all surgeries digitally before the actual procedure. We want to ensure a safe and seamless wisdom tooth extraction for every single one of our patients.
When Should You Get Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?
With more than 50 years of collective experience and training, our team of board-certified surgeons has been trained to identify a host of potential problems when it comes to your wisdom tooth development. Some reasons your oral surgeon might recommend wisdom teeth removal for your oral health:
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause your other teeth to shift. In extreme cases, this requires the expertise of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to address.
Cysts can form around your new teeth before they break through your jaw. When left untreated, the cysts hollow out your jawbone and cause nerve severe damage if not caught in time.
Swollen gums create pockets between teeth that help bacteria grow and cavities to form. If left untreated this can lead to tooth decay, tooth loss, and even gum disease.
Wisdom teeth issues have been linked to sinus pain, pressure, and congestion.
The gums surrounding your wisdom teeth can become inflamed, swollen, and difficult to clean; this can lead to infection if not treated.
Damage to surrounding teeth
In extreme cases, your third molars can push against your other teeth, causing dental discomfort and bite issues.
What To Expect For Your Wisdom Extraction Procedure
Depending on how many wisdom teeth you are having removed, the length of your wisdom tooth procedure will vary. During your consultation, your oral surgeon will review your medical history and x-rays to determine how long your procedure will take and what your pre and post-op experiences will look like. Typically, extracting all four wisdom teeth takes around one hour.
The Day of Your Wisdom Teeth Procedure
As one of the most common and routine procedures performed by our team, wisdom teeth extractions are almost always outpatient procedures. Depending on your level of anxiety and discomfort, your oral surgeon will go over your anesthesia options before the procedure. As licensed oral and maxillofacial surgeons, our doctors also specialize in anesthesia to ensure patients’ comfort throughout their procedure.
Your Anesthesia Options
Typically, most procedures are performed under general anesthesia, but this is always discussed prior to assure the choice is best for the individual patient. Your safety and comfort are our first priority.
Regardless of the kind of sedation option you choose, your oral surgeon will also apply pain medication to the extraction site to protect you from any additional pain that might arise during or after your procedure.