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By the age of eighteen, 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 or molar teeth are used to grind food up into a consistency suitable for swallowing.

The average mouth is made to hold only 28 teeth. It can be painful when 32 teeth try to fit in a mouth that holds only 28 teeth. These four other teeth are your Third Molars also known as "Wisdom teeth". 

Why Should I Remove My Wisdom Teeth?

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 removal of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth. 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 erupt successfully.

These poorly positioned impacted teeth can cause many problems. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the tooth allows bacteria to grow around the impacted tooth and beneath the tissue which will eventually cause an infection. The result: swelling, stiffness, pain and illness. The poorly positioned wisdom tooth, along with the oral bacteria, can promote bone loss and gum disease of the adjacent teeth.

The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom tooth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Removal of the offending impacted tooth or teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure. It is our experience that younger patients 16-18 years of age have the most uneventful procedure and recovery period.

Removal

In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. These options as well as the surgical risks (i.e. sensory nerve damage, sinus complications) will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed. Once the teeth are removed, sutures may be placed. To help control bleeding, bite down on the gauze placed in your mouth.

Cool packs should be applied to the surgical areas to reduce swelling. You will rest under our supervision in the office until you are fully awake and are ready to be taken home. Upon discharge, your post-operative kit will include written postoperative instructions and all your prescriptions. If you have any questions, or feel that your recovery is not as expected please call our office at 574-272-8823.

Our services are provided in an environment of optimum safety that utilizes modern monitoring equipment and staff that are experienced in anesthesia techniques.

Oral Examination

With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, our surgeons can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and determine if there are present or potential 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.

All outpatient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. Our doctors have the training, license and experience to provide various types of anesthesia for patients to select the best alternative