Wisdom Teeth Removal in Hinesville , Waycross and Douglas

Southern Georgia Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Usually be the age of 18, 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, canines, and bicuspid teeth) are ideal for grasping and biting food into smaller pieces. The back teeth (molar teeth) are used to grind food up into a consistency suitable for swallowing. Third molars are commonly called Wisdom Teeth. They are the last teeth to erupt, and are located behind the second molar. Their development is complete between the middle teenage years and early twenties. Most people do not have enough room in their mouth for full and proper eruption of their wisdom teeth.

A diagram half mouth X-ray with teeth impaction and half digital graphic highlighting impacted teeth

What Is An Impacted Wisdom Tooth?

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. Rarely do they align properly, and even in full eruption with the presence of healthy gum tissue, their removal is recommended to avoid future problems. 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. Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as they attempt to find a pathway that will allow them to successfully erupt. During your initial consultation with Dr. Myers, the type of impaction will be described as:

  1. Soft Tissue Impaction – the gum tissue does not allow the wisdom tooth to fully erupt
  2. Partial Bony Impaction – approximately 1/3 of the wisdom tooth is imbedded in the jawbone
  3. Complete Bony Impaction – the wisdom tooth is completely embedded in the bone and is only   visible with an x-ray
A representation of a wisdom tooth impacted by soft tissueSoft Tissue
An example of a wisdom tooth with a partial bony impactionPartial Bony
An illustration of a wisdom tooth completely impacted by boneComplete Bony

Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Extracted?

It is highly advised that wisdom teeth be removed before their root structure is fully developed.  The stage of root development will vary from patient to patient, however most everyone has full root development by age 30.  Early detection and removal (ages 12-18) results in a less complicated surgical outcome.  Poorly positioned impacted teeth can cause many problems such as:

A representation of a pericoronitis infection on a wisdom tooth

Infection:

The most frequent clinical problem we see is pericoronitis, (a localized gum infection). Without enough room for total eruption, the gum tissue around the wisdom tooth can become irritated and infected, resulting in recurrent pain, swelling, and problems with chewing and/or swallowing.

An example of a cyst formation on a wisdom tooth

Cyst Formation:

Non-infectious diseases may also arise in association with an impacted wisdom tooth. Cysts are fluid-filled “balloons” inside the jaw bone that develop as a result of impacted teeth and slowly expand destroying adjacent jaw bone and occasionally teeth. They can be very difficult to treat if your wisdom teeth are not removed in your teenage years. Although rare, tumors can be associated with the delayed removal of wisdom teeth.

An illustration of teeth crowding causes by a wisdom tooth

Possible Crowding:

Impacted wisdom teeth may contribute to crowding of your teeth. This is most noticeable with the front teeth, primarily the lower front teeth and is most commonly seen after a patient has had braces. There are a number of factors that cause teeth to crowd after braces or in early adulthood. Retained, impacted wisdom teeth may be a contributing factor. Unless you have an active problem when you see the oral surgeon, the reason for removal is primarily to prevent long-term damage to your teeth, gums and jaw bone.

A visual of a wisdom tooth damaging an adjacent tooth

Damage to Adjacent Teeth:

If there is inadequate room to clean around the wisdom tooth, the tooth directly in front, the second molar, can be adversely affected resulting in gum disease, bone loss around the tooth, and/or decay.

The above mentioned complications of impacted wisdom teeth may cause visible signs of swelling, infection, difficulty opening the jaw, pain, headaches, and illness. It is also possible to not experience any symptoms, however undetected damage may be occurring. Removal of the impacted wisdom teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal (between age 12-18) is recommended to avoid future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.

When Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Evaluated?

Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment results 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.

Wisdom Tooth Removal Overview

For a brief narrated overview of the wisdom tooth removal process, please click the image below. It will launch our flash educational MiniModule in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about wisdom teeth.

Wisdom Tooth Removal Overview

Having trouble? Please make sure you have the Adobe Flash Player plugin installed in order to correctly view this presentation. This software is available as a free download.

Dr. Myers is specially trained and licensed as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to diagnose and remove wisdom teeth under IV anesthesia. This will ensure a painless surgical procedure that maximizes patient comfort as well as minimizing procedural anxiety.

Removal of Wisdom Teeth In Hinesville ?

In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under IV anesthesia. A through explanation of what to expect using IV sedation, 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 will be sutured. To help control bleeding after surgery, bite down on the gauze placed in your mouth. You will rest under our supervision in the office until you are ready to be taken home by your escort. Upon discharge, your postoperative kit will include postoperative instructions, a prescription for pain medication, antibiotics, and a follow-up appointment in one week for suture removal and to evaluate the status of your healing. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us in Hinesville at 912-408-7100 or in Waycross at 912-285-1437, or in Douglas at 912-260-1623.

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