Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Adults develop a total of 32 teeth. 28 of these teeth erupt by the age of 13. The last four teeth called the wisdom teeth or third molars, do not erupt until your late teens to early 20s. While some individuals get their wisdom teeth without any issues, many people experience complications. The wisdom teeth are the teeth most likely to become impacted, unable to erupt properly through the gums. When your wisdom teeth are impacted, Gregory A. Williams, DMD, PC can help restore your oral health with wisdom tooth extractions.

A Brief History of Your Wisdom Teeth

Long ago, the wisdom teeth were quite important. Thousands of years ago, before the invention of cooking, the third molars helped humans to chew a wide array of very tough, coarse foods. The human jaw was also much larger, providing ample room for all 32 teeth. With the invention of cooking, many of the foods in the human diet were softened and made much easier to chew. As a result, the third molars essentially became obsolete. Over time, the size of the jaw shrank, but the wisdom teeth continue to develop.

How Do Wisdom Teeth Become Impacted?

The wisdom teeth can become impacted for some different reasons. These include:
•  Not enough space in the jaw.
•  Bone or soft tissue blocking the path of the tooth, preventing it from erupting.
•  The teeth are angled, so they grow sideways instead of up and out.

Effects of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

There are several different issues that can occur as a result of impacted wisdom teeth.
•  The development of localized infections. If wisdom teeth only partially erupt, the areas become more difficult to properly clean. This can lead to localized infections called pericoronitis.
•  The occurrence of cysts. Cysts often develop as a result of infection but can also form due to impacted teeth. A cyst is a fluid or semi-fluid filled sac that continues to grow in size over time. It can even cause bone loss in the jaw.
•  Your teeth become overcrowded. Without enough space for the wisdom teeth to come in, they begin to push against the adjacent teeth, shoving them out of alignment. These teeth then push on other teeth and so forth until your entire mouth becomes overcrowded. In addition to affecting your smile, overcrowding can lead to an increased risk of tooth decay and tooth damage, bruxism, and temporomandibular joint issues.
•  Adjacent teeth can become damaged. If the wisdom teeth are growing at an angle toward the adjacent teeth, they can grow into the sides of the other teeth. This can cause fractures, including fractures below the gumline, that can have serious effects on your oral health.

Extracting Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Pain at the back of the jaw, often accompanied by discomfort while speaking or eating, can often indicate an issue with the wisdom teeth. It is important to call for an appointment right away when you notice these symptoms. We look over your mouth and take dental x-rays to see exactly what is going on. The exam also helps us to create a customized treatment plan. Impacted wisdom teeth need to be extracted.

There are two ways in which teeth can be extracted, simple extractions and surgical extractions. Typically, wisdom teeth need to be removed with a surgical extraction. This type of procedure is more involved than a simple extraction. It is done under a local anesthetic and sedation can also be provided if necessary. We start with incisions in the gums to expose the wisdom teeth, their roots, and the surrounding bone. Next, we remove the teeth, removing bone or sectioning the teeth as needed. Once completely removed, the sockets are cleaned, and the gums are sutured closed. After extracting wisdom teeth, there is no need to worry about replacing them.

Removing impacted wisdom teeth can help to alleviate the complications associated with them, greatly improving your quality of life. For more information, and to schedule your appointment, call Gregory A. Williams, DMD, PC today at 503-620-2020.

11820 SW King James Pl Ste. 40
Tigard, OR 97224-2481

Monday: 8am – 5pm
Tuesday: 7am – 3pm
Wednesday: 8am – 5pm
Thursday: 7am – 3pm
Friday: Closed

Gregory A. Williams DMD | www.dentistintigard.com | 503-620-2020
11820 SW King James Pl Suite 40 Tigard, OR 97224
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