Wisdom Teeth

By age 18 the average adult has 32 teeth; 16 on top and 16 on bottom. Each tooth has a specific 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 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 to erupt. Unfortunately, most never make it into the mouth as a functional tooth.

Reasons for extraction of 3rd molars (wisdom teeth) include:

Partially impacted third molars allow food to become trapped under the tissue flap. This allows bacteria to grow which may lead to localized infections and tooth decay.
Tumors and cysts can form around the impacted teeth and go undetected.
Early removal of teeth decrease surgical risks.

Wisdom Teeth Removal and Post Operative Care

Removal of wisdom teeth can be performed under local anesthesia, laughing gas (nitrous oxide), or IV sedation. Local anesthetic options can be discussed at the time of the initial consultation.

Once the teeth are removed, the gum is sutured, to help control bleeding the patient will be asked to bite down on a piece of gauze placed in the mouth.

Upon discharge you will receive, prescriptions for pain medication, antibiotics, and follow up appointment in one week for suture removal.

Absolutely no sipping from a straw.