Wisdom Teeth

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that are located near the throat. They are the last of the permanent teeth to erupt, and many patients experience pain and crowding among the teeth when third molars emerge because there is not enough space for them.  They were given the name “wisdom teeth” in the 17th century because they typically erupt at the beginning of adulthood, between the ages of 17 and 25.

Why should I have my wisdom teeth extracted?

In many cases, if wisdom teeth are not extracted, their presence can lead to infection and cysts while also damaging surrounding teeth. When wisdom teeth do not have sufficient space to emerge through the gum line, they become impacted or stuck in the surrounding tissues. Impaction sometimes involves wisdom teeth that are completely or partially covered by gum tissue or the tooth may become lodged in the jawbone.

How do I know if my wisdom teeth should be extracted?

Patients, especially teenagers, should visit our office often for examinations, so we can check for wisdom tooth complications such as impaction. Wisdom tooth extraction is the most common procedure that oral and maxillofacial surgeons performs.  After examining the tooth and capturing digital X-rays, we will determine if wisdom tooth extraction is necessary. We conservatively address problems and avoid unnecessary procedures as a commitment to patient satisfaction and comfort. If a third molar extraction is needed, it will be conducted with local anesthesia or oral sedation, and you may return home afterwards. We may prescribe medication to ease post-procedure discomfort and swelling.

What are the benefits of wisdom teeth extraction?

Wisdom teeth extractions benefit patients by:

  • Eliminating the threat of damage to surrounding teeth
  • Reducing risk for tumor or cyst development
  • Preventing infections of the teeth or gum tissue
  • Alleviating  teeth crowding