By the age of 18, the average adult has 32 teeth; 16 teeth on the top and 16 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. The back teeth (molar teeth) are used to grind food up into a consistency suitable for swallowing.
The average mouth is made to hold only 28 teeth. It can be painful when 32 teeth try to fit in a mouth that holds only 28 teeth. These four other teeth are your third molars, also known as “wisdom teeth.”
Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to develop and usually are not able to erupt within the mouth due to deficient space and not being aligned properly.
They may grow sideways at any angle and in any position, partially emerged from the gum, and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. These impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone however they generally fail in their attempt to find a pathway that will allow them to successfully erupt and or be healthy.
The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth.
These poorly positioned wisdom teeth can cause many problems.
The pressure from the wisdom teeth attempting to erupt may move other teeth and disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment of teeth. The pressure usually results in shifting or movement of the front teeth out of their ideal position and alignment.
Wisdom Teeth Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of wisdom teeth, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to wisdom teeth are discussed.
Futhermore, the pressure and position of the wisdom tooth up against the adjacent tooth over time can cause irreversible damage to the tooth next to it and or compromise the supporting bone for that tooth.
When they are partially or even non- erupted, there are small access areas along or around the wisdom tooth or adjacent teeth allows entry for bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection of the area resulting in swelling, stiffness, pain, and illness. Even more seriously, the infection from the wisdom teeth can spread to other areas that become very dangerous such as to the heart and lungs, or to the areas of the throat and airway which can threaten your ability to breath by narrowing and even closing off your airway.
Another of the most serious problems occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and compromise healthy teeth. These problems often develop without out any symptoms of pain or swelling so the individual is usually not aware if these destructive tumors or cysts have developed.
*Key: early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure, preferably before the roots of the wisdom teeth are fully formed (which most ideally is between the ages of 13-17, of which the younger is usually the most ideal because there is very little or no root formed yet). If the roots of the wisdom teeth are less formed when removed, they are not as long. If they are not as long, this means they are not as deep! If they are not as deep, this means there is less risk associated with the surgery, typically not as invasive and easier to go through including the recovery.
With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, Dr. (Doctor) can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there are present or may be future problems. 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 outpatient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. Dr. (Doctor) has the training, license and experience to provide various types of anesthesia for patients to select the best alternative.
In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under local anesthesia, laughing gas (nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia) or general anesthesia. These options, as well as the surgical risks (i.e., sensory nerve damage, sinus complications), will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed. Once the teeth are removed, the gum is sutured. To help control bleeding, bite down on the gauze placed in your mouth. You will rest under our supervision in the office until you are ready to be taken home. Upon discharge, your postoperative kit will include postoperative instructions, a prescription for pain medication, antibiotics, and a follow-up appointment in one week for suture removal. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at (phone).
Our services are provided in an environment of optimum safety that utilizes modern monitoring equipment and staff who are experienced in anesthesia techniques.