Wisdom Teeth

Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. When they erupt into the mouth fully and align properly so that they are able to bebrushed and flossedadequatelyso that thegum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this is not often the case. The extraction 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 — referred to as being “impacted.” Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as they attempt to find a pathway that will allow them to successfully erupt.

These poorly positioned impacted teeth can cause many problems. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the teeth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. This can result in an acute type of infection which will cause pain, swelling and limited opening; perhaps even a severe deep infection of soft tissue or bone that requires hospitalization. It can also result in a less obviouschronic periodontal infection which may not be apparent with acute symptoms, but which will result in bone loss around the wisdom tooth which can also damage the health of the adjacent second molar, resulting in additional tooth loss.The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Preventive removal of impacted teeth before they result in any of these problems is recommended. Early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems, facilitate ease of removaland to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.

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.

Wisdom Teeth Presentation

Oral Examination

With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, Dr. Smith can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there are present or may be 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. Dr. Smith has the training, license and experience to provide various types of anesthesia for patients to select the best alternative.


In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under local anesthesia, laughing gas (nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia) or general anesthesia delivered intravenously (IV sedation). 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, the gum is sutured. To help control bleeding, bite down on the gauze placed in your mouth. You will rest under our supervision in the office until you are adequately recovered from anesthesia and ready to be taken home. Prior to discharge, you and your escort will receive postopertive instructions on how to care for your extractions sites, appropriate diet and oral hygeine instructions and how to take the prescribed medications. You will also be given a follow-up appointment so that Dr. Smith canevaluate how your surgical sites are healing. Ifyou have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us.

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