The last teeth to erupt in your mouth, wisdom teeth, are a third set of molars that usually erupt by the age of 18.
The average mouth can only accommodate 28 teeth. So many times your wisdom teeth or third molars can cause shifting and or pain. Since there is normally insufficient room in your mouth for the wisdom teeth to erupt properly. It is routinely recommended they be extracted.
When wisdom teeth become impacted a host of problems can occur. Removal is necessary for teeth that are impacted (below the gum tissue in the bone). Impacted teeth are more likely to develop cysts, abscesses, tumors and most often swelling and infection.
When wisdom teeth are partially erupted it is difficult to keep the area clean. This can lead to tooth decay, periodontal disease, adjacent tooth loss, and infection.
It is recommended to remove the teeth at an early age in order to avoid future problems and to decrease the risk of surgical complications. These complications can include increased pain, swelling, and chance of sinus exposure or numbness to your lip, tongue, cheeks, gums and chin.
It is recommended to remove your wisdom teeth prior to the development of pain or infection as it is usually a less involved procedure and a quicker recovery.
In order to determine if your wisdom teeth need to be removed you should have an oral and radiographic examination performed by a Board Certified Oral Surgeon. The doctor will evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and determine if a current problem exists, or if they will possibly cause future problems or have enough room to erupt in your mouth.
Patients should be evaluated in their mid-teens initially.
Wisdom teeth can be removed under several anesthetic options including local anesthetic, nitrous oxide (laughing gas), or intravenous sedation. All of your options and risks will be discussed by your Board Certified Oral Surgeon at the time of your examination. Often sutures are required after removal of wisdom teeth. Post surgery you will be given post-op instructions and the instructions both verbally and written will also be provided in writing to take home with extra sterile gauze. You may also be given post-operative prescriptions with a follow-up appointment date and time.