Wisdom Teeth & Extractions

What are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth to develop and appear in the mouth. They enter the mouth behind the upper and lower second, or 12-year, molars. They are called “wisdom teeth” because they usually appear during the late teens or early twenties, which has been called the “age of wisdom.”

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

When a wisdom tooth fails to come into the mouth normally, it is said to be “impacted.” Teeth can be completely impacted or partially impacted. Nine out of ten people have at least one completely impacted wisdom tooth, generally resulting from a lack of space in the mouth.

Why Should You Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Periodontal and Systemic Diseases

Many people believe that as long as they are not in pain, they do not have to worry about their wisdom teeth. However, reality paints a different picture. “Asymptomatic,” or “pain free,” does not mean the absence of disease or pathology. In fact, the bacteria that cause gum disease may exist in significant numbers around asymptomatic third molars and cause damage before symptoms let you know that something is wrong. Impacted wisdom teeth can contribute to a variety of problems, including tooth decay, infection, crowding, or damage to adjacent structures and even systemic diseases.

Some of the problems caused by wisdom teeth are:

Tooth Decay

Infection around the Gums

Bacterial infection and inflammation often spread from wisdom teeth to other teeth. They may also lead to receding gums, bone loss and the possibility of loosened teeth.

Damage to the Roots, Nerves and Sinus

A young adult’s wisdom teeth generally have incomplete root systems, making the surgery relatively uncomplicated. As wisdom teeth mature, their roots lengthen and may become involved with surrounding sensory nerves or the sinus area. In these cases, surgery may be more involved with a greater chance of complications.

Cyst and Tumor Formation

A fully impacted wisdom tooth sits in the jawbone, surrounded by the sac in which teeth develop. Over time this sac may enlarge. As the sac grows it may damage the jaw, neighboring teeth and the surrounding area. Although rare, tumors can develop from the same tissues that surround an impacted tooth, requiring extensive surgery and reconstruction.

Systemic Infections

Perhaps the greatest threat to a healthy mouth is a bacterial infection that starts between your teeth and gums. This infection often spreads to neighboring teeth and gums and may be transported through the bloodstream to other parts of the body – potentially contributing to diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and other systemic health problems. Studies have also found that periodontal disease in expectant mothers is strongly associated with a greater likelihood of preterm and low birth-weight babies.

Is Surgery to Remove Wisdom Teeth Right for You?

Researchers strongly recommend that in order to prevent future problems, wisdom teeth, even those that appear problem free, be removed prior to age 25. A study of 4,000 patients showed that patients older than 25 were one-and-a-half times more likely to experience complications while having their wisdom teeth removed, with the risks increasing with age. In short, it makes good sense to have your wisdom teeth removed earlier rather than later.

For more information about Wisdom Teeth, please click the following link: https://myoms.org/procedures/wisdom-teeth-management

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E. E.
You did such a wonderful job I only had to take 2 Tylenols for pain and only a minimal amount of swelling occurred. You were swell... I never had a dentist call and check on how I was doing. I appreciated that.
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Nancy D.
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Claudia G.
I was so nervous about my appointment but as soon as I walked into the office the warm welcome put me at ease. Then Heidi continued the calming for me. Dr. Stastny you were very easy going and assured me that all would be OK. I felt so much better. The day of my procedure I met Tawnya. She was so reassuring that I knew I was in good hands. Thank you all for your kindness and compassionate care!
Joyce M.
Thank you for taking the time to extract all of my bad teeth. You will never know what a heaven sent you were to my children and I. So thank you so much, don't ever stop being an angel.
Stephanie R.
I want to thank you and your staff so very much for the excellent care. The entire office has been truly kind from start to finish. I was extremely nervous the day of my procedure, but everyone made me feel comfortable and at ease. I cannot tell you the amount of appreciation I felt when you personally took the time to call and check on me that evening. Thank you ALL again!
Dausha T.
Thank you so much for the wonderful job you did with Jacob. He recovered quickly and easily. In fact, he was cutting the grass and eating French toast and bacon the next day! If only raising teenagers was as easy as taking their teeth out!
Amber A.
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Thank you for the smiles you bring to so many people. I hope this brings a smile to you and your staff. May "God" always be with you for what you do for others.
Greg S.
I want to thank you for taking care of my last week and the week before. You are excellent at your business. Top-notch all the way. I was astounded that you took the time to call me the evening of the procedure to make sure that all was well.
Karen S.
Thank you so much for everything you have done for me. I was so nervous to have all my teeth pulled and wear dentures. You and your staff made me feel so comfortable. You really care a lot about your patients. Now I smile all the time and I'm no longer ashamed of how I look.
Steve H.
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Cathy R.
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Sharon S.
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Dan M.
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