By the age of 18, the average adult has 32 teeth. There are 16 teeth on the top and 16 teeth on the bottom and 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 tearing food into smaller pieces. The back teeth (molar teeth) are used to grind food up into a consistency suitable for swallowing.
The average mouth is structured to hold 28 teeth. However, nature provides an additional four molars, known as “wisdom teeth.”
Wisdom Teeth Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of wisdom teeth, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to wisdom teeth are discussed.
Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt in the mouth. If they align properly and if gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not usually happen. Extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they do not properly erupt into the mouth. 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 such as damage to adjacent healthy teeth, gum disease, infection, dental crowding, and even cyst or tumor formations. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the teeth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and of healthy teeth. Removal of the offending impacted teeth will prevent cyst or tumors from forming around these teeth. Early removal is recommended to avoid future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.
With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, Drs. Bailey, Anton and Seeba can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and determine whether they are currently a problem or likely to cause problems in the future. Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment results in superior outcomes for patients. The recommended time for such an evaluation is the mid-teenage years.
All outpatient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. Drs. Bailey, Anton and Seeba have the training, license and experience to provide various types of anesthesia for patients and to select the best alternative.
In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under deep IV sedation. The surgical risks (i.e., sensory nerve damage, sinus complications), will be discussed with the patient before the procedure is performed. Once the teeth are removed, the gum is sutured. To help control bleeding, the patient is instructed to bite down on the gauze placed in his mouth. He will rest under our supervision in the office until he is ready to be taken home. Prior to discharge we will discuss diet and postoperative care with the patient or with those who accompany him. Our staff stands ready to answer any questions that arise before or after the patient is discharge. Do not hesitate to call us at Webster Office Phone Number 281-461-1982.
Our services are provided in an environment of optimum safety that utilizes modern monitoring equipment and staff who are experienced in anesthesia techniques.