Third molars are often referred to as wisdom teeth. They are usually the last teeth to develop and are in the back of the mouth. They are the last molars behind the second molars and may or may not be visible to the eye.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth can be considered impacted, partially impacted or erupted based upon how much bone and soft tissue is entrapping the tooth. The surgical procedure required to remove the wisdom tooth depends on the severity of its position and the amount of bone around the tooth.
Why do we need to remove wisdom teeth?
In most cases, wisdom teeth do not have enough room to erupt into the mouth and become trapped or impacted in the bone in the back of the jaw. If they do erupt partially or fully the tissue over the top of the back portion of the tooth creates a pocket which can harbor food and bacteria. This can lead to increased tooth decay and infection. Cystic lesion formation around fully impacted wisdom teeth can lead to damage of the jaw bone and adjacent healthy teeth. It is often recommended to remove wisdom teeth to reduce or eliminate negative consequences related to complications with wisdom teeth.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
Oral Examination and X-Rays
The oral surgeon will complete an exam and review x-rays of the mouth to visualize the position and bone around the wisdom teeth. These diagnostic procedures will allow our surgeon to plan the best approach to your unique situation. Studies show that early intervention of crowded wisdom teeth results in superior outcomes for patients. Patients are generally evaluated by their dentist, orthodontist or an oral surgeon in the mid-teenage years. Out-patient surgery is typically performed under anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. In a few days after the area has healed, you should be back to eating normal foods and going about usual activities.