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.

Human Touch Wisdom Teeth Module

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Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. 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 successfully erupt.

These poorly positioned impacted teeth can cause many problems. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the teeth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The result: swelling, stiffness, pain, and illness. The pressure from the erupting wisdom teeth may move other teeth and disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment of teeth. The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Removal of the offending impacted teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.

Removal

In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under IV sedation. This, as well as the surgical risks, 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. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at Valdosta Office Phone Number 229-247-7585.

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

Surgical Removal of Wisdom Teeth

What are Wisdom Teeth?

Third molars are commonly referred to as wisdom teeth. The wisdom teeth are located in the back of the mouth, one in each quadrant, behind the second or 12 year molars.

What Happens if my Teeth Are Impacted?

Although most people develop 32 permanent teeth, quite often the jaws are not large enough to accommodate the four wisdom teeth. When adequate space prevents the teeth from erupting into proper position, they are “impacted”. An impacted tooth remains embedded in soft gingiva (gums) tissue or bone beyond its normal eruption time. Because they are the last teeth to emerge, the most common teeth to become impacted are the wisdom teeth, which normally emerge between the ages of 17 and 21.

Some of the problems that can develop from partially impacted teeth include pain, infection, crowding and damage to the adjacent teeth. More serious problems, such as damage to the jawbone caused by the formation of cysts, can occur with completely impacted teeth. Surgeons generally recommend the removal of wisdom teeth to prevent these problems from developing.

Prior to your consultation with Dr. Alvarado, a special x-ray, such as a panoramic or sometimes a dental CT scan of your mouth and jaw will be taken to determine if your wisdom teeth are impacted and how difficult it will be to remove them and if they need to be removed.

When Should I Have Them Removed?

As the wisdom teeth develop, the roots continue to grow longer and the jawbone becomes denser. So as you get older, it becomes more difficult to remove your teeth and complications are more likely. In addition, the problems associated with impacted teeth tend to occur with increasing frequency after the age of 30.

“Surgeons generally recommend the removal of wisdom teeth to prevent problems from developing.”

Therefore, it is usually recommended to have wisdom teeth removed during the teenage years or early twenties, before the root structure is fully developed. Although in some cases it is recommended that they are removed as early as age 11 or 12 years of age.

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