After careful evaluation and consultation our Oral Surgeons can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there are present or future potential problems. Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment results in a superior outcome for the patient. Patients are generally evaluated in the mid-teenage years by their dentist, orthodontist, or by their oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
All outpatient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. Our doctors are trained, licensed, and highly experienced in providing various types of anesthesia for patients.
Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
If you do not have enough room in your mouth for your third molars to fully erupt, a number of problems can happen. Wisdom teeth should be removed before their root structure is fully developed. In some patients, it is as early as 12 or 13, and in others it may not be until the early twenties. Problems tend to occur with increasing frequency after the age of 30. Some of the possible problems related to not removing your wisdom teeth include:
- Infection: The most frequent clinical problem, is pericoronitis, (a localized gum infection). Without enough room for total eruption, the gum tissue around the wisdom tooth can become irritated and infected, resulting in recurrent pain, swelling, and problems with chewing and/or swallowing.
- Cyst Formation: A non-infectious diseases may also arise in association with an impacted wisdom tooth. Cysts are fluid-filled “balloons” inside the jaw bone that develop as a result of impacted teeth and slowly expand destroying adjacent jaw bone and occasionally teeth. They can be very difficult to treat if your wisdom teeth are not removed in your teenage years. Although rare, tumors can be associated with the delayed removal of wisdom teeth.
- Possible Crowding: Impacted wisdom teeth may contribute to crowding of your teeth. This is most noticeable with the front teeth, primarily the lower front teeth and is most commonly seen after a patient has had braces. There are a number of factors that cause teeth to crowd after braces or in early adulthood. Retained, impacted wisdom teeth may be a contributing factor. Unless you have an active problem when you see the oral surgeon, the reason for removal is primarily to prevent long-term damage to your teeth, gums and jaw bone.
- Damage to Adjacent Teeth: If there is inadequate room to clean around the wisdom tooth, the tooth directly in front, the second molar, can be adversely affected resulting in gum disease, bone loss around the tooth, and/or decay.
What If I Don’t Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed as A Teenager or Young Adult?
As wisdom teeth develop, the roots become longer and the jaw bone becomes dense. When it is necessary to remove impacted wisdom teeth in your thirties, forties or beyond, the post-operative course can be prolonged and there is a higher complication rate. Treating these complications is often more difficult and less predictable than with a younger patient. Healing may be slower and the chance of infection can be increased. If your impacted wisdom teeth are not removed in your teenage years or early in your twenties and they are completely impacted in bone, it is important to have a consultation with the Oral Surgeon to discuss your options.
What Happens on The Day Wisdom Teeth Are Removed?
Most people prefer to be unaware of the experience when they have their wisdom teeth removed and usually decide to be sedated. You will be provided with appropriate anesthesia options at your consultation. All outpatient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize your comfort. Our doctors and office staff has the training, licensing, and experience to provide appropriate anesthesia for your comfort. These services are provided in an environment of optimum safety, utilizing modern monitoring equipment and a well trained experienced staff.
We ask that a parent or responsible adult accompanies you to the office and plans to stay with you the rest of the day. (Please refer to the Surgical Instruction Tab) The procedure will take approximately 20 to 60 minutes and you will probably be in the office for 90 minutes. Recent advances in medicine and technology allow patients to undergo wisdom tooth removal in a manner, which promotes rapid healing and minimal post-operative discomfort. State of the art sterilization and infection control techniques are used at all times.
On the day of your surgery, it is essential that you follow the pre-surgery instructions given to you by our office (refer to Surgical Instruction tab). This does not mean you should try to fit in one “last meal” exactly six hours before your surgery. Having anything in your stomach can increase the risk for serious anesthetic complications, including nausea and vomiting. Your procedure will need to be rescheduled if you have not heeded these guidelines, this is for your safety. We may provide you with a prescription for pain medication at your consultation appointment, which for your convenience, can be filled in advance. When you are seated in the surgical room, we will make every effort to make you as comfortable as possible. You will be sleepy for a significant portion of the day if you choose to be sedated.
If your surgery requires stitches, these are usually the type that dissolve in 3 to 5 days and do not require removal. You may also notice a sensation of your gums feeling swollen and pulling away from your teeth. This is all part of the normal recovery, and will subside in several days.
We do not recommend using dairy products such as yogurt, ice cream or milkshakes on the day of surgery, as nausea and vomiting may develop in conjunction with the anesthetic and pain medication. If you are given antibiotics and you take birth control pills, please be aware that the birth control pills might become ineffective and take appropriate precautions.
What If I Have Questions Before My Surgery?
At the time of your consultation, your specific situation will be discussed in greater detail. We encourage you to ask any questions you may have; no question is a silly question. If new questions arise after your consultation, please call our office at 306-359-7040 to speak to one of our staff.