Wisdom Teeth Removal

By the time the average adult turns the age of 18, he or she should have 32 teeth; giving them 16 teeth on the top and 16 on the bottom. Every tooth in the mouth has it’s own specific name and function. The teeth that are located in the front of the mouth (incisors, canine and bicuspid teeth) are ideal for grasping and biting food into smaller pieces. The teeth that are located in the back of the mouth (molar teeth) are used to grind food up into a suitable consistency to enable it to be easily swallowed.

The average mouth is only made to hold 28 teeth, so it can be quite painful when 32 teeth try to fit in. These four extra teeth are your third molars, which are likely known to you as “wisdom teeth.”

Should I have my wisdom teeth removed?

The last teeth to erupt into the mouth are the wisdom teeth. When these teeth align properly and gum tissue is healthy, the wisdom teeth typically do not have to be removed, but unfortunately, in most cases, this doesn’t happen. It becomes necessary to extract the wisdom teeth when they are being prevented from properly erupting within the mouth. They may only partially emerge from the gum, grow sideways, and even remain trapped underneath the gums and bone. Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as they try to find a pathway that will allow them to successfully erupt.

The impacted teeth that are poorly positioned can cause several problems. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the teeth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The result then becomes pain, swelling, stiffness, and illness. The pressure that ensues from the erupting wisdom teeth may also move other teeth and disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment of the teeth. The destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth can be caused by tumors or cysts that can form around the impacted wisdom teeth. Removing these impacted teeth will typically resolve these problems. Early removal of the impacted wisdom teeth is generally recommended to avoid these problems from occurring and to also decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.

Initial Evaluation

With a complete oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, Dr. Reisman can fully evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and then predict if they are present or may cause any future problems. By the time a person is in their mid-teen years, they should have already had their first evaluation of their wisdom teeth by their dentist, orthodontist or by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Several studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment result in a much more superior outcome for the patient.

All outpatient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize the comfort of the patient. Dr. Reisman and his staff are licensed, have had the proper training, and are fully experienced to provide patients with various options of anesthesia, in order to select the best one for each patient.

Removal

The removal of wisdom teeth is generally performed under a general anesthesia, laughing gas (nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia) or a local anesthesia. These options, as well as the surgical risks that are involved (i.e. sensory nerve damage, sinus complications) will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed.

Once the teeth are removed, the gum is then sutured. In order to help control the bleeding, you will be asked to bite down onto the gauze that will be placed into your mouth. You will be asked to rest under our supervision in our office until you are ready to be taken home. Upon your discharge, your post-operative kit will include detailed postoperative instructions, a prescription for pain medication, antibiotics if indicated, and a follow-up appointment in about one to two weeks for suture removal.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at (303) 665-2377.

Our services are provided in an environment of optimum safety. Our friendly staff are fully trained and experienced in anesthesia techniques, and fully utilizes modern monitoring equipment during the procedure.