Wisdom Teeth & Tooth Removal

By age 18, the average adult has 32 teeth. In most cases the mouth can only hold 28 teeth, and it can be painful with all 32. The additional four teeth are your third molars, also known as “wisdom 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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Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. In some situations, the teeth align properly, gum tissue is healthy, and the teeth do not need to be removed. However, in most cases, the extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary to prevent improper eruption of teeth.

Poorly positioned wisdom teeth can cause many problems. Partially erupted wisdom teeth allow bacteria growth in the opening around the teeth, which can result in swelling, stiffness, pain, and illness. Another problem is that erupting wisdom teeth may grow at an angle and disrupt orthodontic treatment or natural alignment of teeth. The most serious problem is when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth.

Removing wisdom teeth can usually resolve these problems or prevent them entirely. Early removal is recommended as a preventative measure and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.

Oral Examination

An oral examination uses x-rays of the mouth to evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and identify if there are present or may be future problems. Studies show that early evaluation and treatment result in the most successful outcome for the patient. Patients are generally evaluated in the mid-teenage years by their dentist, orthodontist, or by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

Wisdom Tooth Removal Overview

For a brief narrated overview of the wisdom tooth removal process, please click the image below. It will launch our flash educational MiniModule in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about wisdom teeth.

Having trouble? Please make sure you have version 9 of the Flash browser plugin in order to correctly view this presentation. This software is available as a free download.

Removal

Usually, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under local anesthesia, laughing gas, or general anesthesia. These options, as well as the surgical risks will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed.

After the teeth are removed, your gums will be sutured, and gauze will be placed in your mouth to help control bleeding. You will rest, under supervision, in the office until you are ready to be taken home.

Upon discharge, you will receive a postoperative kit, which includes instructions, a prescription for pain medication, antibiotics, and a follow-up appointment in one week for suture removal.

Our services are provided in an environment of optimum safety that utilizes modern monitoring equipment and staff who are experienced in anesthesia techniques.