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Wisdom Teeth FAQs
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Third Molars, more commonly known as “Wisdom Teeth” are submerged teeth beneath the gums in the four corners of your posterior arches. An easier way to think of their location is in the rear of your mouth. Though most individuals have or have had wisdom teeth in their lifetime, some people never develop them.
Do I Have Wisdom Teeth?
You can simply identify your wisdom teeth by examining your upper and lower arches to see if a “third” molar exists. In some cases your wisdom teeth may not be visible which likely will required the assistance of imaging technology (X-Ray) by visiting the dentist for conclusive results. Wisdom Teeth are normally observed in early adulthood.
Why should I have my wisdom teeth removed?
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to appear 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 (impacted) beneath the gum and bone. When they are trapped (impacted), the opening around the teeth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection or decay around adjacent teeth. 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.
Some Signs You May Have Impacted Wisdom Teeth
- Pain/Pressure in molars when eating
- Cheek and gum discomfort in the area of the third molar
- Gum inflammation behind your last visible molar
- Foul taste or smell in the area
- Rubbing/Grinding against the cheek
- Jaw stiffness
The removal of wisdom teeth is performed under IV general anesthesia.
Intravenous (IV) Conscious Sedation
IV Conscious Sedation is an effective technique for managing moderate to severe dental anxiety. We believe it is a valuable tool for ensuring a patient’s complete relaxation during a procedure.