Wisdom Teeth

What are wisdom teeth?

Image: wisdom teeth xray in marietta ga image, Dental World of MariettaWisdom teeth are the last teeth that are supposed to erupt into your mouth. They are often referred to as 3rd molars and we usually have four of them. Because we take good care of the rest of our teeth, our wisdom teeth usually don’t have enough room to come out properly. What oftentimes happens, these teeth get stuck or “impacted” behind our 2nd molar teeth and there is simply no room for them to come out fully and be useful and functional. More often than not, they come out only part way, very crooked and almost impossible to keep clean. They can develop cavities, painful gum inflammation, and dangerous infections. Some develop cysts around them. Root of adjacent tooth may decay or resorb. Many studies show that bacteria that accumulates around impacted wisdom teeth can cause problems in the gums around other teeth in the mouth.

When should wisdom teeth be taken out?

Image: Various states of Impacted wisdom teeth, Dental World of MariettaThis varies depending on individual development of the 3rd molar as determined on an x-ray film. Usually most wisdom teeth are removed between ages 16 and 25. Patients in this age range usually have the best outcome and easiest recovery. Most surgeons agree that it is prudent to remove wisdom teeth before any symptoms are present. Generally, surgery is easier when done on adolescents and young adults.

Should ALL wisdom teeth come out?

NO. This is an individual treatment plan. Some adults may not need to have their wisdom teeth removed. We always need to weigh the benefits versus risk. During your consultation we will review your symptoms, medical history, and complete an exam that includes a panoramic x-ray to determine the position and development of your teeth. X-ray of a wisdom tooth that needs to be removed. Decay on adjacent tooth. Both teeth need to be removed.

Some common reasons impacted 3rd molars (wisdom teeth) are removed:

  • Pericoronitis (gum inflammation) prevention or treatment
  • Root resorption of adjacent teeth
  • Cavities or prevention of future cavities
  • Crowding of lower incisor teeth
  • Management of unexplained pain
  • Orthodontic considerations

Who should remove my wisdom teeth?

Image: Impacted Wisdom Teeth example, Dental World of Marietta

In our opinion, wisdom tooth removal should only be performed by an oral surgeon. General dentists are usually not trained to deal with intricacies or possible complications of this surgery. Oral surgeons have the proper skills and instrumentation to perform this procedure. Oral surgeons perform this surgery efficiently with minimal discomfort and maximum safety for their patients.

Do I need to go to sleep?

You don’t absolutely need to go to sleep, however, many people choose this option because they simply don’t want to remember much of anything or be aware of the procedure. We offer deep IV sedation. During your consultation, we will discuss all treatment options available to you based on your medical history, physical exam, and personal preference.

Can I bring in a referral given to me for another oral surgeon?

We will gladly accept other practitioner’s referrals and give you our opinion during your consultation.