By the age of 18, most adults have 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, canine, and bicuspid teeth) are ideal for grasping and biting food into smaller pieces.
The back teeth (molar teeth) are used to grind food up 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." These can become problematic.
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 within the mouth. They may grow 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 such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.
Reasons for Wisdom Teeth Removal Associated with Pathology/ Problems:
• Periodontal disease (gum disease)
• Recurrent pericoronitis (multiple episodes of infection of the gum around a wisdom tooth)
• Abscess, cellulitis, and osteomyelitis (infection spread from wisdom tooth into surrounding tissues)
• Untreatable pulpal and/or periapical pathology
• A cavity in a tooth a dentist can't treat as in an unrestorable carie (decay) in a wisdom tooth or adjacent tooth when the cavity in the adjacent tooth can't be properly treated without removal of the wisdom tooth
• Disease of follicles including a cyst (a sac filled with fluid) or tumor
• Root, bone, and/or crown breakdown next to/(or to) a wisdom tooth also known as internal/external resorption (which includes damage to a neighbouring tooth)
• Fracture of a wisdom tooth
• When a wisdom tooth is involved in a fracture line
• When a wisdom tooth is involved in or within the field of tumor resection
If one of these problems is present the following may develop:
• Pain or tenderness in the gums or jawbone
• Bad breath
• Redness or swelling in the gums
• An unpleasant taste in the mouth
• Headaches or jaw ache
In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under local anesthesia, IV sedation or general anesthesia. These options, as well as the possible surgical risks, will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed.
Please read the information below to make sure you are ready for surgery by following oral surgeon instructions to prepare for IV sedation or deep sedation.
If you have any questions, please call our Brighton Dental Multispecialty Practice department before your appointment: 718-366-0070
Once the teeth are removed, the gum is sutured. To help control bleeding, gauze is placed in your mouth.
You will rest under our supervision in the office until you are ready to be taken home. Upon discharge, your postoperative kit will include postoperative instructions, a prescription for pain medication, antibiotics, and a follow-up appointment in one week.