Wisdom Teeth

By the age of 18, the average adult has 32 teeth; 16 teeth on the top and 16 teeth on the bottom.

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 the 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 the gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this rarely happen. The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are erupting sideways, partially emerge from the gum, or remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impacted teeth may 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 cause many problems, the most common of which is infection. Another problem is when tumors or cysts form around the impacted teeth. This results in the destruction of jaw bone and loss of healthy teeth. Removal of the offending impacted teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended to avoid problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure. Removal of third molars in the teenage years makes the surgery easier for the patient with fewer complications because the roots are shorter and the bone heals faster.

Pre-Operative Consultation

With an oral examination and x-rays Dr. Lahar can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and explain the risks and benefits of wisdom tooth removal. The consultation prior to the day of surgery allows the patient to understand the procedure, discuss the requirements for general anesthesia and insurances are checked so the patients copayments are known prior to surgery.