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.
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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 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 can eventually cause inflammation or an infection called periocoronitis. This is painful and causes swelling, stiffness, pain, possibly fever and weakness. 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. Refer to Consult Pro Videos to show some of the problems of wisdom teeth (After clicking the link above, click on Surgery, then Wisdom teeth causing crooked teeth, Wisdom teeth causing tooth destruction or Wisdom teeth causing inflammation.) 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. If they are acutely infected, the infection may need to be treated with antibiotics prior to removal of the wisdom teeth.
With an oral examination and a radiographic study of the mouth, Dr. Rotas and Dr. Martin can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and discuss with you current or possible future problems. This discussion will include risks of removal, benefits of removal, options to treatment and alternatives to treatment if present. 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. Rotas and Dr. Martin have the training, licenses, and experience to provide various types of anesthesia for patient comfort.
Removal of Wisdom Teeth
The removal of wisdom teeth is performed under Local anesthesia (numbing of the areas); Local anesthesia with oral premedication; or IV anesthesia (Intravenous general anesthesia). These options, as well as the surgical risks (i.e., sensory nerve damage, sinus complications, etc.), will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed. Once the wisdom teeth are removed, the gum is sutured closed. This is done with dissolvable stitches. You will rest under our supervision in the oral surgery office until you are ready to be taken home. Upon discharge, you will receive written postoperative instructions. These will be reviewed with the person who is taking you home to ensure the proper steps are followed for a quick recovery. Also on discharge from the office, you will receive a prescription for pain medication, antibiotics if indicated, and a follow-up appointment in one week to check the surgical wounds and show you how to clean them. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call our office at 916-773-1188. There is always a doctor on call after hours and weekend at this same phone number. If you needed a doctor after hours for an emergency, you can call 916-773-1188 and follow the phone prompts to reach the doctor on call.
Our oral & maxillofacial surgery services are provided in an environment of optimum safety that utilizes modern monitoring equipment and staff who are experienced in anesthesia techniques. We meet and exceed all requirements by law for monitoring of patients receiving IV anesthesia.