What are wisdom teeth?
By the age of eighteen, the average adult has 32 teeth; 16 on the top and 16 on the bottom. Each tooth in the mouth has a specific name and function. The front teeth (incisors, canine and bicuspid teeth) are ideal for grasping and biting food into smaller pieces. The back teeth, or molar teeth, are used to grind food into a suitable consistency for swallowing.
The average mouth is made to hold only 28 teeth, which is why trying to fit 32 teeth into a mouth can be extremely painful. These four additional teeth are your Third Molars, also known as “wisdom teeth.”
Why should I remove my wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. When they align properly and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not need 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 allowing them to erupt successfully.
These poorly positioned impacted teeth can cause many problems. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the tooth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The result: swelling, stiffness, pain and illness. The pressure from the erupting wisdom tooth 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 tooth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Removal of the offending impacted tooth or teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.
With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, Dr. Krakora can evaluate the position of wisdom teeth and predict if there may be any present of future problems. Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment result in a superior outcome for the patient. Patients are generally first evaluated in early teenage years by their dentist, orthodontist or by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
All outpatient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. Dr. Krakora has the training, license and experience to provide various types of anesthesia for patients to select the best alternative.
In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under local or general anesthesia. These options as well as the surgical risks (i.e. sensory nerve damage, sinus complications) will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed. Once the teeth are removed, the gum is sutured. To help control bleeding, bite down on the gauze placed in your mouth. You will rest under our supervision in the office until you are ready to be taken home. Upon discharge, your post-operative kit will include postoperative instructions, a prescription for pain medication, antibiotics and a follow-up appointment in one week for suture removal. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Our services are provided in an environment of optimum safety that utilizes modern monitoring equipment and staff that are experienced in anesthesia techniques.
One of Megan’s biggest fears going into her wisdom teeth removal surgery was the pain. She didn’t know what to expect, but to her surprise, the entire procedure was much easier than she imaged, and she was back to her normal routine in no time. Her advice to future wisdom teeth patients of Dr. Krakora – “Don’t be nervous. Don’t be scared. The pain is fine!”
Although Matthew was a little nervous about being under anesthesia, he was surprised at how easy his wisdom teeth removal surgery was! After the first day of surgery he experienced the most pain, but after that everything was smooth sailing. He didn’t have to take much pain medication and was back doing the activities he loves and eating food he enjoys (including a Moe’s burrito three days after surgery!). Matthew’s video testimonial is sure to ease the mind of anyone who still needs their wisdom teeth removed.
Doug provides a detailed description of his entire wisdom teeth procedure, and in particular, what it felt like to be under anesthesia, of what he can remember that is. According to Doug everything happened so quickly and before he knew it, he was waking up to Dr. Krakora preparing him to go home. Within no time Doug was back to his normal self, playing the Saxophone and all!
Despite any initial fears of removing his wisdom teeth, Nick was surprised with his easy recovery and how quickly he was back doing the activities he loved. Now he doesn’t have to worry about any future problems or pain caused by impacted wisdom teeth.
“It’s not as bad as you think!” Joa said one week after her wisdom teeth removal surgery. Thanks to an easy recovery and minimal pain, Joa was pleased with her experience and more than happy to give advice to future wisdom teeth patients.