Wisdom Tooth Extractions
Wisdom teeth, also referred to as third molars, get their name by being the last teeth to come in during young adulthood. As part of a dental visit, we will examine you to determine if your wisdom teeth are healthy and properly positioned. Every patient is unique, but in general, wisdom teeth may need to be removed when there is evidence or risk of changes in the mouth, such as pain, infection, cysts, tumors, damage to adjacent teeth, gum disease, or tooth decay (if it is not possible or desirable to restore the tooth). We may also recommend the removal of wisdom teeth as part of other treatment, such as when removal is part of an orthodontic, restorative, or periodontal treatment plan.
In addition, the condition of your mouth changes over time. Wisdom teeth that are not removed should continue to be monitored, because the potential for developing problems later on still exists. As with many other health conditions, as people age, they are at greater risk for health problems and that includes potential problems with their wisdom teeth. Regular dental visits are important so that we can evaluate not just your wisdom teeth but your overall oral health to help you prevent and manage dental disease and achieve optimal oral health.
Our approach to wisdom tooth removal will vary with the condition of your teeth. Some wisdom teeth will be fully erupted and in such cases removal is often routine or “simple.” However, many wisdom teeth are impacted, meaning that they don’t have enough room to emerge or grow normally. Part or all of an impacted wisdom tooth will be trapped in the jaw. These are referred to as “partial bony” or “complete bony” impactions. Removal of impacted wisdom teeth requires the creation of a small window in the gum and bone, through which the tooth can be removed as a whole, or in sections. The wound is then closed with dissolving stitches.