in this section:
i-CAT | Tooth Extractions | Wisdom Teeth | Dental Implants | Bone Grafting | Periodontal Procedures |
Orthodontic Exposures | Apicoectomy | Facial Trauma | Orthognathic (Jaw) Surgery | Oral Pathology | Sedation |
Sleep Apnea | Distraction Osteogenesis | TMJ Disorders
Wisdom teeth, officially known as third molars, are usually the last teeth to develop. They are located in the very back of your mouth, next to your second (or twelve year) molars. They usually complete development between the ages of 15 and 20, a time traditionally associated with the onset of maturity and the attainment of wisdom.
Since wisdom teeth are the last to develop, many people do not have enough room in their mouth for all of the teeth to adequately erupt into the mouth and become fully functional and cleansible. When this occurs they are said to be impacted, indicating their inability to erupt into a functional and aligned position.
There are several types of impactions: soft tissue, partial bony, and complete bony. This classification is based on the relationship of the wisdom tooth to the surrounding bone and gum tissue.
If you do not have enough room in your mouth for your wisdom teeth to erupt and they become impacted, a number of problems may arise:
These problems tend to occur with increasing frequency after 30 years of age.
Unless you have an active problem the reason for removal is primarily to prevent long-term dental problems.
In some patients it is as early as 11 or 12, but most commonly from the mid-teenage years to the early twenties. Younger patients will heal faster, more predictably and have fewer complications than older patients.
You need to be seen for a consultation before it is determined if you will benefit from wisdom tooth removal. A special x-ray of your mouth and jaws is needed to help determine how much room you have, if any, for your wisdom teeth to erupt.
If you do not have your impacted wisdom teeth removed in your teenage years or early in your twenties, more extensive problems may arise later in life. If it becomes necessary to remove impacted wisdom teeth in your thirties, forties or beyond, it is usually more difficult for you, as the patient. The post-operative course can be prolonged and there is a higher complication rate. Treating these complications is more difficult and less predictable than with a younger patient. If you do not have your impacted wisdom teeth removed in your teenage years or early in your twenties and they are completely impacted in bone, it may be advisable to wait until a localized problem (such as cyst formation or localized gum disease and bone loss) develops and then treat the affected area only.
This presentation has been designed to answer your many questions regarding Wisdom Teeth.
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On the day of your procedure you should expect to be in the office for an hour to an hour and a half, unless told otherwise.
All outpatient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize your comfort. Dr. Bluhm, Dr. Dorsch and Dr. Vandervort have the training and experience to provide a variety of anesthetic options depending on your individual needs. Your anesthetic options will be discussed at the consultation appointment. These services are provided in an environment of optimum safety, utilizing modern monitoring equipment and staff experienced in anesthesia techniques. Regardless of the type of anesthesia used it is advisable to spend the rest of the day at home, with a responsible adult available to help you, should the need arise. You will be given verbal and written post-operative instructions prior to your discharge.
Each individual's reaction to surgery varies, and the discomfort can have a wide range. You can expect approximately two to four days of discomfort before noting improvement. Facial swelling is not uncommon for several days following the surgery. You may also experience stiffness of your jaw muscles, chafing around the corners of your lips, facial bruising, and a small amount of oozing from the extraction sites. Most patients feel like they are over the hump in 3 - 5 days.
Because of the different types of impacted wisdom teeth, it is not possible to give you a realistic estimate of what our services will cost until your x-rays are reviewed and the best anesthetic option determined. Every insurance company has a different policy regarding the extent of coverage for a given surgical procedure. The office patient care coordinators will be happy to help you work with your insurance company.
If this information, combined with information you receive at your consultation appointment doesn't answer all of your questions, please call Dr. Bluhm, Dorsch and Vandervort's office to speak to one of the patient care coordinators.