Wisdom Teeth / Third Molar Removal
Kid’s get to experience tooth loss and the excitement of new teeth fairly frequently. As a kid, teeth come and go and are easily forgotten, but one set of teeth are almost always remembered – the wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth, also known as the third molar, is typically the last set of teeth to erupt from the gums. They usually start to come in at around age 16-20 but can come in much later. They are called “wisdom teeth” because people get them much later in life, when they are said to be “wise”. Many people end up having to have their third molars remove for a variety of reasons.
At Keith Grote, DDS, our goal is to detect all issues that may arise in your mouth before they are able to negatively affect your health. Your education on wisdom teeth and how they work can help to ensure that you come to see us and have them checked out.
Why Wisdom Teeth Are Frequently RemovedMost people simply don’t have the room for another set of molars in the back of their mouth. Additionally, wisdom teeth come in at strange angles quite often, causing them to run into other teeth or structures within your mouth – causing them to be impacted. Impaction can lead to all sorts of nasty issues, such as:
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No one wants to have to deal with these issues, so what is the solution? The American Dental Association suggest that anyone within the age range of 16-25 who hasn’t had their wisdom teeth removed come in at least once a year to have an examination. During this examination we will take an X-ray of your mouth and determine a few things.
Firstly, we will determine whether or not you even have wisdom teeth. Just as some people are born with extra teeth, others are born without certain teeth. Then we will determine how close your wisdom teeth are to erupting from the gums. If you come in at 16 and we determine that your wisdom teeth won’t come in for several years, at least we know. Finally, we will determine whether or not they will need to be removed or if you can keep them.
If it turns out that your mouth has enough room for them and they will come in at the proper angle, there probably won’t be any reason to remove them.
It is important that you come in to have an exam and professional cleaning at least twice a year so that we can stay on top of issues like wisdom teeth.
When to Remove Wisdom TeethGenerally speaking, the younger you are the more quickly and effectively you heal. When you have a procedure like wisdom tooth extraction done at an early age you are less likely to suffer from complications and more likely to heal quickly. Further, if a wisdom tooth is removed early in its development there is a good chance that it will be much easier to remove. Wisdom teeth that are early in development lack the root structures that fully formed wisdom teeth boast. When the roots are allowed to mature before extraction it can make it more difficult to remove and result in a more complicated extraction. For these reasons we recommend having your wisdom teeth remove as early as possible.
The ProcedureOur top priority is always your safety, health, and comfort. We will always work toward the betterment of your health and safety, if there is ever a point in any procedure where you feel uncomfortable, please let us know and we will do our best to remedy the issue. We offer a variety of sedation options ranging from numbing agents to general anesthesia. If you are worried about being anxious for the procedure, just let us know ahead of time and we can go over sedation options that might make the experience more enjoyable.
There are two types of tooth extractions – simple and surgical. Simple extractions are performed on teeth that are above the gums and easy to get to. A simple extraction involves a tool called an elevator, which we use to grip the tooth. Once we have it firmly in our grip we can rock it back and forth until it can be coaxed out of its socket.
Surgical extractions require us to make an incision to access the tooth that we will be extracting. This process is used when we have to remove a tooth that hasn’t yet erupted from the gum line. Once we have removed the tooth we will suture the site closed an allow it to heal. In both cases we will send you home with special care instructions.
Keeping Your Wisdom TeethIn the event that we find that you are able to keep your third molars, we will still ask that you come in for regular examinations to ensure they follow the correct path. Sometimes there is some orthodontic work that must take place in order to help them erupt properly.
It is important that you don’t wait until you feel discomfort or pain before coming to see us. Once something hurts it often means that some damage has been done or that the procedure will be more complicated and costly.
Please call us today at 530-756-8800 to schedule an appointment.
NOTE: This information does not represent the medical advice of our dental office, always refer to your personalized information given to you by our office or call us at 530-756-8800 for dental advice.