Wisdom Teeth Removal
Although wisdom teeth can be a useful asset to your mouth when they are healthy and properly positioned, problems may develop that require their removal. Because wisdom teeth typically develop during adolescence, we understand that as a parent you may experience a great deal of confusion as to whether or not to have this procedure performed on your child.
What are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the last four molars to develop on each side of the jaw. These teeth usually emerge in the back of your mouth between the ages of 16-20. The average human mouth can comfortably hold only 28 teeth – 16 teeth on top and 16 teeth on bottom. The development of wisdom teeth adds an additional four teeth to the jaw, bringing the total to 32. Mishawaka Dental understands that it can be painful when 32 teeth try to fit in a mouth that is meant to hold only 28. When the jaw is not large enough to accommodate wisdom teeth, they can become impacted, meaning that they are unable to come in or are misaligned. Wisdom teeth may grow sideways, emerge only part way through the gum or remain trapped beneath the gum and bone.
These poorly positioned, impacted teeth can cause many health problems. When they are only partially erupted, the opening around the teeth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. This will result in swelling, stiffness, pain, and illness. The pressure from the erupting wisdom teeth may move other teeth and disrupt the natural alignment of teeth. The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and of healthy teeth. Removal of impacted teeth usually resolves these problems, and early removal is recommended so as to avoid future complication and to decrease the likelihood of future dental surgeries.
Here at Mishawaka Dental, we have made wisdom tooth extraction is a relatively simple and routine procedure. The dentist will numb the area in the mouth with a local anesthesia. After your tooth is removed, the patient may be asked to bite down softly on a piece of gauze for 30 to 45 minutes after leaving the office to limit any bleeding that may occur. Patients may experience some pain and swelling which will normally subside after a few days.