Wisdom Teeth Extractions

Wisdom Teeth Extractions2016-12-28T02:24:02+00:00

extraction

Third molars, commonly referred to as wisdom teeth, are usually the last four of 32 teeth to erupt (surface) in the mouth, generally making their appearance between the ages of 16 to 25. They are located at the back of the mouth (top and bottom), near the entrance to the throat. The term “wisdom” stems from the idea that the molars surface at a time typically associated with increased maturity or “wisdom”.

In most cases, inadequate space in the mouth does not allow the wisdom teeth to erupt properly and become fully functional. When this happens, the tooth can become impacted (stuck) in an undesirable or potentially harmful position. If left untreated, impacted wisdom teeth can contribute to infection(Pericoronitis), damage to other teeth(resorbtion), and possibly cysts or tumors(usually benign vs cancerous).

There are several types, or degrees, of impaction based on the actual depth(superfical to deep boned) of the teeth within the jaw:

Soft Tissue Impaction: The upper portion of the tooth (the crown) has penetrated through the bone, but the gingiva (gum) is covering part or all of the tooth’s crown and has not positioned properly around the tooth. Because it is difficult to keep the area clean, food can become trapped below the gum and cause an infection and/or tooth decay, resulting in pain and swelling.

Partial Bony Impaction: The tooth has partially erupted, but a portion of the crown remains submerged below the gum and surrounding jawbone. Again, because it is difficult to keep the area clean, infection will commonly occur.

Complete Bony Impaction: The tooth is completely encased by jawbone. This will require more complex removal techniques.

Reasons to remove wisdom teeth

While not all wisdom teeth require removal, wisdom teeth extractions are most often performed because of an active problem such as pain, swelling, decay or infection, or as a preventative measure to avoid serious problems in the future. If impaction of one or more wisdom teeth is present, and left untreated, a number of potentially harmful outcomes can occur, including:

  • Damage to nearby teeth: Second molars (the teeth directly in front of the wisdom teeth) can be adversely affected by impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in tooth decay (cavities), periodontal disease (gum disease) and possible bone loss.
  • Disease: Although uncommon, cysts and tumors can occur in the areas surrounding impacted wisdom teeth.
  • Infection: Bacteria and food can become trapped under the gum tissue, resulting in an infection. The infection can cause considerable pain and danger involving potential facial spaces in the face and neck areas.
  • Tooth Crowding: It has been theorized that impacted wisdom teeth can put pressure on other teeth and cause them to become misaligned (crowded or twisted), after braces have been completed by an Orthodontist. This theory isn’t universally accepted by all dental professionals, but is generally a good idea to remove these impacted third molars in teen age years to avoid periodontal disease, infection and recrowding.

Wisdom teeth examination

As with any dental procedure, Dr. Khan will want to initially conduct a thorough examination of the wisdom and surrounding teeth. Panoramic or Periapical films will be taken in order for Dr. Khan to evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and determine if a current problem exists, or the likelihood of any potential future problems. The x-rays can also expose additional risk factors, such as deterioration or decay of nearby teeth. Early evaluation and treatment (typically in the mid-teen years) is recommended in order to identify potential problems and to improve the results for patients requiring wisdom teeth extractions. Only after a thorough examination can Dr. Khan provide you with the best options for your particular case.

What does the removal of wisdom teeth involve?

Wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure, generally performed under local anesthesia, intravenous (IV) sedation, or general anesthesia by a specially trained doctor such as Dr. Khan in his office surgery suite. The surgery does not require an overnight stay, and you will be released with post-operative instructions and medication (if necessary), to help manage any swelling or discomfort, Post-op follow ups can be done as deemed necessary in the office.