Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are not necessary for optimal oral function. These teeth are commonly extracted by an oral surgeon because they erupt later than the rest of the permanent teeth and often cause orthodontic problems such as crowded and misaligned teeth. When wisdom teeth emerge, they can produce painful symptoms for patients as well. For these reasons, this minor oral surgery helps preserve the healthy placement of teeth and reduce discomfort associated with third molar eruption.
Most patients’ wisdom teeth erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. The amount of wisdom teeth a patient has varies, most people have four but it is not uncommon to have more or less. The primary reason wisdom teeth require surgical extraction is because they often become impacted. This means that they emerge through the gum line at a sideways angle. Because wisdom teeth do not properly erupt, they can damage neighboring teeth and cause frequent discomfort such as headaches and facial pain.
In some cases, third molars will only erupt partially. When partial eruption occurs, wisdom teeth are more susceptible to periodontal disease and decay because they are very difficult to clean properly. For most, removing these teeth is easier on younger patients because the bone is less dense and the roots are not fully established. During oral examinations, your general dentist will take X-rays to check the positioning of wisdom teeth so that he or she can estimate the best time for removal. In many cases, you will likely be referred to an oral surgeon for a thorough evaluation. Depending on the nature of your needs, your surgeon will schedule the appropriate time for the procedure.
Our skilled team of oral surgeons at Central Oklahoma Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates takes great strides to ensure patient comfort and relaxation. Anesthetic medicine will be administered during your procedure and you may be prescribed a sedative to reduce anxiety. Our team will also provide and explain post-operative instructions so that you will recover as quickly as possible. To learn more, call 405-624-1300 and schedule your informative consultation today.