By the age of 18, the average adult has 32 teeth; 16 teeth on the top and 16 teeth on the bottom. The average mouth only has space for 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, food packs beneath the gum line and bacterial growth eventually causes an infection or periodontal (gum) disease. The result: swelling, stiffness, pain, and loss of supporting bone. 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. Removal of the offending impacted teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal in teenage years is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk that develops with increasing age.
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.
With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, Dr. Moussalli can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and any potential problems. 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.
The removal of wisdom teeth is performed under local anesthesia, laughing gas (NITROUS OXIDE) and/or SEDATION. These options, as well as the surgical risks (i.e., sensory nerve damage, sinus complications), will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed. In addition, our Interactive Wisdom Tooth Video provides a wealth of information regarding wisdom teeth. Once the teeth are removed, the gum is sutured. You will rest under our supervision in the office until you are ready to be taken home. Upon discharge, your postoperative kit will include postoperative instructions, a prescription for pain medication, antibiotics, and a follow-up appointment in one week for suture removal. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at 269-423-4961.
Our services are provided in an environment of optimum safety that utilizes modern monitoring equipment and staff who are experienced in sedation techniques.