Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to develop in your mouth. These teeth, or third molars, appear around the ages of 18 to 22 – often referred to as the “Age of Wisdom”. Sometimes the teeth may not need to be extracted if they are functional, pain free, or disease free. But many times the wisdom teeth become “impacted” because the teeth aren’t able to break through the gums and can cause damage to other teeth.

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Why would I need to remove my wisdom teeth?

In general, wisdom teeth should be surgically removed when one of the following occurs:
  • When the wisdom teeth are malaligned or impacted. Impaction means the wisdom tooth is blocked and doesn’t have enough space to break through the gums.
  • When there is an infection and/or periodontal disease
  • When there is a cyst or tumor or other pathology
  • When there is damage to neighboring teeth

When is the best time to get my wisdom teeth out?

The best time to remove wisdom teeth is between the ages of 18 – 22 as the roots are about two-thirds formed. After the age of 35, the risk of complications and longer recovery times are much greater than those who are in their late teens to early twenties. For our adult patients, extra care is taken when diagnosing if surgery is necessary or to continue observation. Techniques and expertise, along with occasional use of regenerative materials, help to promote optimal healing in our adult patients.

Why should an oral surgeon remove my wisdom teeth?

While some wisdom teeth can be simple enough for a general dentist to manage, you should contact an oral surgeon in the following situations:
  • Complicated Extractions: Impacted teeth, teeth or bone infections, entangled or multiple curved roots, and overly large sinuses are examples of complicated extractions. Impacted wisdom teeth can be more complicated and require more specialized care to reduce potential complications and promote optimal healing.
  • If You Need Anesthesia: If you do not want to be awake for your extraction, Dr. Begley and Dr. Sheets are trained and licensed in IV Sedation and General Anesthesia and are certified in Basic Life Support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support.
  • Upon Recommendation: If your dentist recommends an oral surgeon, follow their advice. Dr. Begley and Dr. Sheets are committed to providing you with options that would significantly improve your experience.

Should I have all of my wisdom teeth taken out at once?

Dr. Begley and Dr. Sheets will be happy to help you evaluate and determine the best course of action to fit your needs. Most patients elect to have all of their wisdom teeth removed at once based on the nature of the extractions, whether they are undergoing general anesthesia and the anticipated amount of recovery time involved.

What type of anesthesia should I choose?

After your initial consultation, Dr. Begley and Dr. Sheets will recommend the most favorable option. There are many factors to consider that play a role in the type of anesthesia that is recommended. These include the position of the teeth, the number of teeth, the level of impaction, the complexity of the procedure, the patient’s anatomy (size of mouth and jaw), level of anxiety, and medical health, among other factors. Above all, at the Center for Oral Surgery, we promote a comfortable and caring office where patients will receive the personalized attention they need to help them feel at ease. When it comes to wisdom teeth, we get that most people want to be unaware of the surgery, and therefore we provide anesthesia and sedation options to fit those needs.

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