By the age of 18, the average adult has 32 teeth; 16 teeth on the top and 16 teeth on the bottom. Each tooth in the mouth has a specific name and function. The teeth in the front of the mouth (incisors, canines, and bicuspid teeth) are ideal for grasping and biting food into smaller pieces. The back teeth (molar teeth) are used to grind food into a consistency suitable for swallowing.
The average mouth is made to hold only 28 teeth. It can be painful when 32 teeth try to fit in a mouth that holds only 28 teeth. These four other teeth are your third molars, also known as “wisdom teeth.”
Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. When they align properly and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not generally happen. The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting into the mouth. They may grow in sideways, partially emerge from the gum, and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as they attempt to find a pathway that will allow them to successfully erupt.
These poorly positioned impacted teeth can cause many problems. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the teeth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The result: swelling, stiffness, pain, and illness. The pressure from the erupting wisdom teeth may move other teeth and disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment of teeth. The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Removal of the offending impacted teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended to avoid future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.
Wisdom Teeth Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of wisdom teeth, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to wisdom teeth are discussed.
With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, Dr. Callan and Dr. Feldman can evaluate the status and position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there are problems already present or if future problems may develop. Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment result in a superior outcome for the patient. Patients are generally first evaluated in the mid-teenage years by their dentist, orthodontist or by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
All outpatient surgery is performed under anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. Dr. Callan and Dr. Feldman have had significant training and experience providing various types of anesthesia suitable for this outpatient procedure.
In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under general anesthesia. This, as well as possible surgical risks, will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed. Once the teeth are removed, the gum tissue is usually sutured. To help control bleeding, bite down on the gauze placed in your mouth. You will rest under our supervision in the office until you are ready for discharge home. Upon discharge, your postoperative kit will include postoperative instructions, gauze, and a prescription for pain medication. An antibiotic may also be prescribed. If you have any questions, please call us at Bremerton Office Phone Number 360-479-4050.
Our services are provided in an environment of optimum safety that utilizes state of the art anesthesia and monitoring equipment with staff who are experienced in anesthesia techniques.