Extraction of Wisdom Teeth

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are usually the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. When they align properly and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not generally happen. 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 erupt successfully.

Impacted Teeth

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

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These poorly positioned impacted teeth can cause many problems. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the tooth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The result: swelling, stiffness, pain and illness. The pressure from the erupting wisdom tooth may move other teeth and disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment of teeth. The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom tooth, resulting in the destruction of the jaw bone and healthy teeth. Removal of the offending impacted tooth or teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.

Evaluation and Treatment

With an oral examination and a current panoramic x-rays (take within the last 12 months) of the jaw, Dr. Lee and Dr. DeFelice can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there may be present or 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.

Wisdom Teeth Removal

All outpatient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. Dr. Lee and Dr. DeFelice have the training, experience, and a specialty license in Tennessee to provide various types of anesthesia for patients.

In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under local anesthesia, local anesthesia and laughing gas (nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia), local anesthesia and sedation, or IV general anesthesia. These options, as well as the surgical risks (i.e. sensory nerve bruising, sinus complications), will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed.

Our services are provided in an environment of optimum safety that utilizes modern monitoring equipment, state-of-the-art surgical facility, and staff that are experienced in anesthesia patient monitoring.