Family, Orthodontic & Implant Dentistry


Family, Orthodontic & Implant Dentistry

Wisdom Teeth Extractions

Wisdom teeth are the last four of 32 teeth to erupt in your mouth, usually appearing between 17-25 years old. They're located at the back near entrance into throat and have a Wisdom stemming from maturity or wisdom which can be perceived with their emergence during this time period.

In most cases, lack of space in the mouth prevents wisdom teeth from fully erupting and becoming functional. When this happens they can become impacted (stuck) causing tooth decay or other problems including cysts/tumors that could lead to cancer.

There are several types, or degrees, of impaction based on the actual depth 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, extractions are most often performed because of an active problem such as pain or infection. Some people may want to avoid future problems by having their wisdoms removed before they cause serious harm if impacted and left untreated for a long period time frame . The following outcomes can occur:

  • 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.
  • 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). This theory isn’t universally accepted by all dental professionals, and it has never been validated by any scientific studies.

Wisdom teeth examination

Since wisdom teeth are still developing at a young age, it is important that they don't get in the way of other basic oral functions. Your dentist will likely examine your mouth and surrounding area with panoramic or digital X-rays during their initial visit to determine if there's any potential risk factors for future problems with these new additions. Early evaluation and treatment (typically in the mid-teen years) is recommended for patients who require wisdom teeth extractions. Only after a thorough examination can your dentist provide you with options that will be best suited to fit your particular case, as well as answer any questions or concerns about why this procedure may need happen at all!

What does the removal of wisdom teeth involve?

Wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure, generally performed under local anesthesia or general anesthetic by a specially trained dentist. You will be released with instructions on how to care for your mouth and any medication that may help after surgery as well.