Third molars, or wisdom teeth, are the last teeth in the mouth to erupt. 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 bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The result: swelling, stiffness, pain and illness. 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 the impacted wisdom tooth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. 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.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
Removal of wisdom teeth is a surgical procedure performed under local anesthesia, laughing gas (nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia), IV moderate sedation, or general anesthesia. These options as well as the surgical risks will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed. There will be stitches and gauze compresses placed to help prevent bleeding. You will rest under our supervision in the office until you are ready to be taken home. Upon discharge, your post-operative kit will include post-operative 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 give us a call.