What are wisdom teeth?
Also known as third molars, wisdom teeth are the last teeth to develop and erupt out of the gums. They became known as wisdom teeth because they typically come out around the mid-teenage years or early twenties when individuals are “wiser” than when they were as a child.
Why are Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Unfortunately, as our diets and lifestyles have dramatically changed over the last few centuries, our jaws have adapted and are smaller in size compared to our ancestors. Our jaws, therefore, rarely have room for this 3rd set of molars and often they become impacted as they try to “squeeze” their way into place.
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain and a variety of issues such as damage to and misalignment of other teeth, difficulties in chewing, jaw pain and headaches. Impacted wisdom teeth can also make it difficult to clean around the back teeth thus increasing the risk for cavities, infection and gum disease.
Impacted wisdom teeth are fairly common. Therefore, Drs. Andrus and Howard often perform evaluations to see if impaction is likely based on the position of the developing wisdom teeth through the use of X-rays. If so, removal will be recommended to avoid the pain and complications that can occur from impaction.
Early evaluation and removal are the best options for those developing wisdom teeth. Evaluations are generally first performed in the mid-teenage years when the developing teeth are visible on X-ray below the gum line but before problems have a chance to develop.
How are Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Here at Longmont Oral, Facial and Implant Surgery, Drs. Andrus and Howard are proud to offer their patients a safe and comfortable experience for wisdom teeth removal. Anesthesia and sedation will be monitored with modern, state-of-the-art equipment by well-trained and experienced staff. Our goal is to make you feel comfortable before, during, and after your wisdom tooth procedure.
Once the sedation takes effect, the teeth are removed and the overlying gums are pulled over the empty socket and sutured in place. To control bleeding, gauze will be placed in the area for you to bite down on and aid in clotting. Recovery will be monitored until you are awake from sedation and ready to be taken home. Due to the residual effects of the sedation medication, you will not be able to drive and you will need to arrange for a ride home.
A post-op kit will be provided that will include instructions, and possibly a prescription for antibiotics or pain if needed. A follow up will be scheduled for suture removal and an evaluation of how things are healing.