All about third molars

Third molar removal is one of the most common procedures performed in the United States as an Outpatient surgery. However, most people don’t know much about wisdom teeth and Advanced Oral & Facial Specialists is here to help.

What are wisdom teeth?

Third molars usually come into the mouth around the age between 16 and 20, but they actually start developing in your jaw bone as early as 12 years of age. Historically, these teeth have been called wisdom teeth because they come through at a more mature age. They are your toughest and widest molars used for grinding food. You get four wisdom teeth in the very back of your mouth, two on top and two on bottom. They are part of your complete set of 32 teeth.

Why get my wisdom teeth removed?

Unfortunately, you’re more likely to have difficulty with wisdom teeth more than any other teeth. A main reason is that some wisdom teeth don’t have enough room to come out through the gum like they should. The human jaw has changed through the years and most patients nowadays do not have enough length of the bone for the teeth to come in proper position. If they do not come out with sufficient room, wisdom teeth can damage nearby teeth and move the teeth in front of them and cause issues with crowding and decay. At the very least, they can push on other teeth, making them shift their positioning and become crooked. Because wisdom teeth are so far in the back of the mouth, they can be more difficult to brush or floss around, which leads to infections or cavities.

Not everyone needs their wisdom teeth removed. The need for wisdom teeth removal depends on the person’s developments. As for the age at which you should have your wisdom teeth removed, it really depends on how rapidly your body is developing. We recommend to get a consultation for assessment of space in your early teens, anywhere between 14-16 years of age. Some people might need them removed before they ever come through the gumline, while others can live with them for a while and only need them removed if they get damaged or have cavities.

What is the process of wisdom teeth removal?

How your wisdom teeth are extracted depends mostly on the position of the teeth, angulation, the patient’s age and bone density. If your wisdom teeth have come in completely, they usually can be removed with a surgical extraction in which your gumline is numbed and the teeth are loosened and extracted. If your wisdom teeth are still below the gumline or are damaged, you might need a surgical extraction that involves oral or intravenous anesthesia and a more involved surgical procedure.

Regardless of which method is required to remove your wisdom teeth, Dr. Jennibeth Robles-Velez and staff at Advanced Oral & Facial Specialists are dedicated to making every patient as comfortable and pain-free as possible. Having your wisdom teeth removed does not have to be a traumatic, painful experience. Contact Advanced Oral & Facial Specialists today to find out more information.