By the age of 18, the average adult has 32 teeth; 16 teeth on the top and 16 teeth on the bottom. Each tooth in the 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.
Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. When they align properly and gum tissue is healthy, some wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not generally happen. The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth, or proper hygiene is not possible due to lack of access for brushing. They may grow sideways, 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, or impacted teeth can cause many problems. When they are 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. They may also deteriorate the adjacent 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 (age 13-16) is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.
With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, Dr. Schneider can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if they are present or may be future problems. In some cases a CT-scan may be recommended. Dr. Schneider has the areas only in-house CT-scanner which is not only convenient for the patient, but also significantly reduces patient cost. Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment result in a superior outcome for the patient. Patients are generally first evaluated in the early teenage years by their dentist, orthodontist or by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
All outpatient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. Dr. Schneider is trained, and licensed to provide various forms of anesthesia for patients to select the best alternative.
In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under general anesthesia providing total patient comfort. Anesthesia, as well as the surgical risks (i.e., sensory nerve damage, sinus complications), will be discussed with you during your preoperative consult visit. Once the teeth are removed the gum is sutured. Dr. Schneider utilizes dissolving sutures for your convenience and comfort. To help control bleeding, bite down on the gauze placed in your mouth. You will rest under our supervision in the office until you are ready to be taken home. Upon discharge, your postoperative kit will include postoperative instructions, a prescription for pain medication, antibiotics, and a follow-up appointment in one week. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us.
Our services are provided in one of our 3 operating suites, in an environment of optimum safety that utilizes modern monitoring equipment and staff who are experienced in anesthesia techniques. Both the surgical center, as well as Dr. Schneider, are licensed to provide anesthesia necessary for your procedure.