Wisdom Tooth Removal
So called because they emerge at the age of attaining adulthood, wisdom teeth frequently fail to erupt through the gum line due to a lack of space in the jaws. When this happens, the teeth are said to be “impacted”. This leads to discomfort when the gums and bone become inflamed or infected because the teeth cannot be properly cleaned. Often, this situation increases a patient’s risk for tooth decay and gum disease that could damage an otherwise healthy smile.
After a consultation at Cascade Oral & Facial Surgery, the doctors will recommend whether a patient should have his or her wisdom teeth removed. This recommendation is based on a number of factors, including the age of the patient, the position of the developing wisdom teeth, and the health of the adjacent teeth. Most dentists and oral surgeons recommend removal of wisdom teeth before symptoms occur due to the frequency of complications which can be painful, costly, and time-consuming.
Benefits to wisdom tooth removal:
- Protect your oral health – removing wisdom teeth prevents inflammation and infection in areas which a toothbrush cannot reach. It also protects the health of the neighboring 2nd molar.
- Reduce pain – impacted wisdom teeth can cause a variety of painful symptoms, including both localized inflammation as well as pressure in the jaw and headaches.
- Preserve your smile – wisdom teeth are the last teeth in your mouth to erupt and may disturb the alignment of other teeth. For this reason, some orthodontists recommend removal of wisdom teeth following braces.
Frequently Asked Questions about Wisdom Teeth
Will I have pain following wisdom tooth surgery?
Unfortunately, any minor surgery will result in some degree of discomfort. However, we strive to make the experience as pleasant as possible, both on the day of surgery, and in the recovery period. An individualized pain plan is discussed at the consultation to ensure the best recovery possible. Our office utilizes Exparel, a long acting local anesthetic, which dramatically improves localized discomfort in the days following surgery. A variety of medications are also provided in sedation cases to ensure minimal pain and swelling.
What if I don’t have my wisdom teeth removed?
Not all patients need wisdom teeth extracted! Some wisdom teeth may erupt in a healthy position and are amenable to good oral hygiene. The risk of ignoring impacted wisdom teeth is that they may become symptomatic during adulthood, and removal of teeth during adulthood is associated with a more challenging procedure and recovery. We want to provide information to help patients make a decision they feel happy with, and we respect the decisions made by our patients.
When should I have my wisdom teeth removed?
The ideal time to have wisdom teeth removed is in the early to mid teenage years (15-18). This is because the roots are partially formed, making the procedure as easy as possible with the lowest complication rate. This also coincides with an excellent safety profile for implementation of anesthesia. It is possible for wisdom teeth to be underdeveloped, at which point our doctors will recommend a period of follow up to evaluate further root formation.
If you or your dentist believe removing wisdom teeth would benefit you, please call or email today for your consultation with Cascade Oral & Facial Surgery!
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