With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, our doctors can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there are present or may be future problems. Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment result in a superior outcome for the patient. Patients are generally first evaluated in the mid-teenage years by their dentist, orthodontist or by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
The average adult has 32 teeth; 16 teeth on the top and 16 teeth on the bottom, by the age of 18. Each and every tooth in our mouth has a specific name and function. The teeth in the front of the mouth (incisors, canine, and bicuspid teeth) are ideal for grasping and biting food into smaller pieces. The back teeth (molar teeth) are used to grind food up into a consistency suitable for swallowing. Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. When they align properly and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not generally happen. The average mouth is made to hold 28th, so when these last 4 “Wisdom Teeth” show up, things can get a bit crowded.
The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth. Sometimes they grow sideways, only 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 that will allow them to successfully erupt.
These poorly positioned impacted teeth can cause many problems. When they have partially erupted, the opening around the teeth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The result: swelling, stiffness, pain, and illness. The pressure from the erupting wisdom teeth 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 teeth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Removal of the offending impacted teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.
The Oral Surgery Institute of the Carolinas is located in Greensboro NC. We offer oral, maxillofacial and implant surgery to NC residents! Our team of specialists looks forward to working with you and sharing their expertise. We offer a full range of services to diagnose, treat, and resolve your oral surgery needs. Our goal is to lay the foundation for a beautiful smile though implant surgery.