Removal Of Wisdom Teeth /
Third Molar (Wisdom Tooth) Removal
The average adult has thirty-two teeth by age eighteen, sixteen teeth on the top and sixteen teeth on the bottom. Each tooth in the mouth has a specific name and function. The teeth in the front of the mouth (incisors, canine and bicuspid teeth) are ideal for grasping and biting food into smaller pieces while the back teeth, or molar teeth, are used to grind food up into a consistency suitable for swallowing.
However, in modern society, in part due to decreased dental wear, the average mouth can frequently only hold 28 teeth. The four teeth that usually end up with insufficient room for eruption are the wisdom teeth (third molars). It can be painful and destructive to the adjacent teeth when the wisdom teeth try to erupt into a mouth that can only hold 28 teeth. Due to this reason, the majority of modern patients require the removal of their wisdom teeth.
Why and When Should I Remove My Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. In general, any impacted tooth is considered “pathological”(disease causing). When they align properly, and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not generally happen. The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum, and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as they attempt to find a pathway that will allow them to erupt successfully.
These poorly positioned impacted teeth can cause many problems. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the tooth allows food to be trapped and bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The result; swelling, stiffness, pain and illness. Some believe that the pressure from the erupting wisdom tooth may move other teeth and disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment of teeth. The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and other healthy teeth.
Wisdom Tooth Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of wisdom tooth extraction, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to wisdom tooth extraction are discussed.
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Removal of the offending impacted tooth or teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure. The most ideal time to remove third molars is when they are not fully developed thus reducing the surgical risks. Removal of impacted wisdom teeth generally should be performed prior to age 26 but can be safely and easily performed as early as age 10 when indicated.
With an oral examination and radiographs our doctors can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there may be present or future problems. Many studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment result in a superior outcome for the patient. Patients are generally first evaluated in the mid-teenage years by their dentist, orthodontist, or by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
All out patient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. Our doctors have the training and experience to provide various types of anesthesia and allows patients to select the best alternative. These services are provided in an environment of optimum safety, utilizing modern monitoring equipment and certified staff experienced in all anesthesia techniques. In addition.