Wisdom teeth are also known as third molars. Most people have 4 wisdom teeth, which are located all the way in the back corners of mouth. Oftentimes, there is not enough room in your mouth to accommodate these teeth. It is a situation where 32 teeth are trying to fit in the space allotted for 28 teeth. If the tooth is blocked from erupting in the mouth and stays buried under the gums this tooth is referred to as an impacted tooth. It can be partially or completely impacted. It is Dr. Blyer’s belief that not all wisdom teeth need to be removed. He will assess your individual situation. Sometimes they can fit in the mouth. If there is enough room for them, as long as you can keep these teeth clean, they oftentimes do not have to be removed.
A partially impacted wisdom tooth can cause pain that can radiate, infection, damage to the second molars or even crowding of the front teeth. A completely impacted wisdom tooth, if left untreated can form a cyst. These cysts can become quite large and destroy bone, adjacent teeth, and even the nerve that gives feeling to your lip and chin. Rarely, such a cyst can transform into a tumor.
When should I be examined and, if necessary, when should I plan on removing my wisdom teeth?
Patients are often followed by their general dentist or orthodontist until they believe it is necessary to be evaluated by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Usually the best time to remove a wisdom tooth is when a patient is in their teens. It is best to remove them before they are acting up or causing pain. Studies have shown that older patients who have their wisdom teeth removed are more at risk of complications. As we get older, the roots of our wisdom teeth become longer and the bone that supports the teeth are less forgiving.
At your consultation appointment, Dr. Blyer will determine which of these teeth, if any, should be removed and what to expect during the procedure and recovery period.
Dr. Blyer will begin by looking inside of your mouth and looking at your radiograph. A panoramic radiograph will be taken, and with this we can properly evaluate whether your wisdom need to be removed. Dr. Blyer will also be able to determine the difficulty of your extraction depending on the root development, angulation of the teeth, closeness to adjacent nerves and sinuses.
Despite the horror stories you may have heard from your grandparents, or friends, removing one’s third molars does not have to be a traumatic experience. Oftentimes our patients return for their postoperative visit telling us “the procedure was much better than they anticipated”. A thorough health history will be taken and all of your options will be discussed.
At New Generation Oral Surgery we tailor our treatment to your desires and safety, whether the procedure is to be performed by:
- Local anesthesia (“Novocain”)
- Local anesthesia and nitrous oxide (“laughing gas” or “sweet air”)
- Local anesthesia and intravenous (iv) sedation (sleeping, or twilight sedation)
- Local anesthesia with general anesthesia
Our warm, courteous staff and wonderful doctor will make this potentially “nerve-wracking” experience a pleasant one.
Dr. Blyer has a license in anesthesia, trained in Advanced cardiac life support, and Basic life support (with his staff). Although not necessary by law, still, our procedure rooms meet the criteria of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the same organization that sets the guidelines for hospitals. We are fully equipped and trained for any medical emergency if such an uncommon event should present.