The last molars to erupt in the back of your mouth are commonly known as wisdom teeth. They are called wisdom teeth because these molars usually begin coming in between the ages of 17 and 21, which is considered the coming of age time period in a person’s life.
Many teens and adults have developed a full set of permanent teeth but do not realize that they are present because they are undetectable without regular dental examinations. Occasionally, wisdom teeth grow in and are easy for patients to see. When the wisdom teeth grow beneath the surface of the gums, only an X-ray evaluation can determine if they are present. Without regular screening, it is not uncommon for wisdom teeth to be discovered when they have already become a problem and extraction is necessary.
Why should I get my wisdom teeth removed?
Many adult mouths have four wisdom teeth, but some adults may have more or less. While wisdom teeth can grow in the mouth with enough space to function normally, they often do not have enough room for proper growth. Wisdom teeth removal is often necessary for teens and adults because the presence of wisdom teeth makes patients more susceptible to other problems inside the mouth including
- Bacterial growth, gum disease, and tooth decay
- Misalignment of healthy teeth
- Swelling, stiffness, tenderness, pain
- Bad breath in the mouth caused by periodontal disease
- Increased risk of tumor growth and cyst development
What does removing my wisdom teeth require?
The course of treatment and wisdom teeth removal depends on the position of the tooth, the extent of root development, and the number of wisdom teeth that are present. A wisdom tooth that has fully grown into the mouth is often extracted as easily as any other tooth. However, a wisdom tooth that is underneath the gums may require a more in-depth procedure. Your oral surgeon will make a small incision into the gums and may need to remove a portion of bone that lies over the tooth. The wisdom tooth may be extracted in smaller portions to minimize the amount of bone that is removed. Most wisdom teeth extractions require a local anesthesia (an injection to numb the gum around the tooth being extracted); however nitrous oxide and IV sedation may be used to help ease anxiety during the procedure. Dr. Hernandez will help you choose the type of anesthesia which best suits your needs.
When should wisdom teeth be removed?
Wisdom teeth will likely cause problems as the patient ages. Approximately 85% of wisdom teeth will need to be removed. Dr. Roland Hernandez recommends that the wisdom teeth be removed early, usually during the mid- to late teens, even if they haven’t begun to emerge from the gums yet. The removal and recovery process is much more rapid if wisdom teeth are removed early. You will receive a thorough oral examination, X-rays, and 3D scanning of the mouth to determine the position and size of the teeth before treatment. Please contact us to make an appointment at Fort Lauderdale Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery with Dr. Hernandez. He is happy to meet with you for a consultation to determine a course of treatment to address your wisdom teeth removal needs.