The average adult has 32 teeth by age 18: 16 on the top and 16 on the bottom. However, the average mouth comfortably holds only 28 teeth. The four additional teeth are your third molars, also known as “wisdom teeth.”
In general, patients first have their wisdom teeth evaluated in their mid-teenage years by a dentist, orthodontist or by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. During an oral examination and using X-rays, the position of the wisdom teeth can be assessed for any current or potential problems. Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment result in a superior outcome for the patient.
Why should my wisdom teeth be removed?
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt. When they align properly, and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. More often, however, wisdom teeth are unable to erupt properly and must be extracted. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum, or 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 erupt successfully. These poorly positioned impacted teeth can cause many problems.
What types of problems can wisdom teeth cause?
Yes, there are different types of materials (donor and synthetic) and a wide variety of techniques that we use to best suit your specific needs. Most dental insurances will cover bone grafting. Please visit with one of our team members to understand the coverage we expect from your specific dental insurance plan.
What can I expect from surgery?
All in-office surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. Our surgeons have the training, licensing and experience to provide various types of anesthesia and can recommend the most suitable options for patients. These services are provided in an environment of optimal safety, utilizing modern monitoring equipment and staff experienced in anesthesia techniques. Recovery time varies based on the position of your wisdom teeth, the number of teeth being removed, among other factors. Your surgeon can give you a more specific estimate for recovery based on your particular case.