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Wisdom teeth are four extra molars located in the back of each side of the upper and lower jaw that usually develop during adolescence between the ages of 17 and 25. The average adult mouth has enough room to accommodate around 28 teeth, but with wisdom teeth, your jaw has to accommodate up to 32 teeth. In rare cases, wisdom teeth erupt properly without complications. Typically, however, wisdom teeth have a significant risk of becoming impacted because the human jaw is too small to contain them.
At Oral Surgery Associates of North Texas, most patients prefer to have their wisdom teeth removed as a precaution before those teeth cause any trouble. Contact us today for an appointment in the Dallas, TX, area.
Health problems caused by wisdom teeth
When wisdom teeth grow under the gum line without space to develop, they become impacted, which can cause a host of problems. Impacted wisdom teeth are more likely to develop cysts or abscesses. Because it’s harder to keep the back of the mouth clean, especially if wisdom teeth are partially erupted, young adults can experience mouth infections that have the dangerous potential to spread to the bloodstream. As wisdom teeth continue to try to push through the gums, neighboring teeth may be damaged or shifted out of alignment, undoing years of orthodontic work.
Removing wisdom teeth in our office
Although wisdom teeth were essential to ancient human ancestors who often lost teeth and had to subsist on a rough diet, these teeth are no longer vital to modern humans. After removal, your smile won’t change, and neither will your ability to speak or eat. Before you have your wisdom teeth extracted, our oral surgeon will take X-rays to locate the teeth and determine whether or not they are impacted. Wisdom tooth removal is a routine oral surgery procedure performed in our office that lasts only a few hours and uses local or general anesthesia. During your consultation, our oral surgeon will explain the process in detail and help you select an anesthesia option that makes you feel comfortable during and after the extraction.
Planning your wisdom teeth extractions
As your dentist and oral surgeon monitor the growth of your wisdom teeth from childhood into adolescence, our office can recommend if and when it’s time to remove the molars safely before they become painful or impacted. Our patients usually have wisdom teeth removed before the age of 25, when tooth roots are not fully grown. This makes the tooth roots easier to dislodge, leading to faster recovery and healing.
The oral surgeon can usually complete the extraction in a few hours, unless there is a more complex case. Because of the anesthesia, you will need some time to wake up, and you’ll also need a friend or family member to drive you home because you will still feel a bit sleepy or groggy. Additionally, you’ll want to review our tips on how to avoid a dry socket after wisdom tooth removal.
Your trusted oral health resource
If you have any questions about wisdom teeth extraction or want to discuss what to expect during a standard extraction procedure, call Oral Surgery Association of North Texas today in Dallas, TX. We’ll schedule a consultation with one of our oral surgeons.
Contact us to schedule a consultation.