Wisdom teeth or third molars are frequently in poor position or the jaws are inadequate in length for the eruption of wisdom teeth and their functional use. A determination is usually done with examination and review of x-rays to predict the orientation and available space for wisdom tooth function. This is usually first done in the mid-teenage years. Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment result in a superior outcome for the patient.
When they are poorly positioned or impacted they can cause many problems including infection, pain, injury to adjacent teeth, and cyst formation. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the tooth allows bacteria to get under the soft tissues and will eventually cause infection or decay. Another frequent problem seen is the pressure from the erupting wisdom tooth causing other teeth to move and disrupt the alignment of the teeth. Some less frequent but significant problems include initiating root resorbtion or decay on the second molars and failure of those teeth. Occasionally tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom tooth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone. Consultation and evaluation of wisdom tooth position is indicated as part of general dental care.
Removal of the offending impacted tooth or teeth usually resolves or prevents these problems. Early removal is recommended to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure. The ages 14 to 20 are recommended for removal of wisdom teeth. Our surgeons have extensive training and experience in the anesthetic technique and surgical procedures for removal of wisdom teeth to provide a painless surgery and comfortable recovery.