By the age of 18, the average adult has 32 teeth – 16 on the top and 16 on the bottom. Each tooth in the mouth has a specific name and function. The teeth in the front of the mouth (incisors, canine and bicuspid teeth) are ideal for grasping and biting food into smaller pieces. The back teeth (molar teeth) are used to grind food up into a consistency suitable for swallowing.
The average mouth is made to hold only 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.” They develop and compete for space with the other molars and this can cause different pathologic states.
Our services are provided in an environment of optimal safety that utilizes modern monitoring equipment and staff who are experienced in anesthesia techniques.
Know the Facts
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 is not the norm. 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 partially erupted, the opening around the teeth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The result can be swelling, stiffness, pain and illness.
The illness can be very serious due to the aggressive nature of some hard-to-treat bacterias. The pressure from the erupting wisdom teeth may move other teeth disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment of teeth, and cause the destruction of adjacent molars. 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 is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.
With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, Dr. Hecht can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there are present or potential future problems. Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment result in a superior outcome. Patients are generally first evaluated in the mid-teenage years by their dentist or orthodontist, or by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
All outpatient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. Dr. Hecht has the training, license and experience to provide various types of anesthesia and to select the best alternative for each individual patient.
In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under local anesthesia, laughing gas (nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia) or general anesthesia. These options, as well as the surgical risks (such as sensory nerve damage or sinus complications) will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed. Once the teeth are removed, the gum is sutured. To help control bleeding, bite down on the gauze placed in your mouth. 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.
Are you or Someone You Know Suffering from Wisdom Tooth Pain?
Contact us today to request an appointment with our caring, nurturing staff where your comfort and health comes first.