Wisdom teeth removal is a common oral surgery procedure that can preserve one’s oral health and quality of life. When patients retain wisdom teeth, they put their oral health at great risk. Wisdom teeth, also referred to as third molars, can have devastating effects on oral function, the vitality of teeth, and comfort. Since third molars are problematic, our dental team surgically removes them as a precautionary and preventive measure.


Wisdom Teeth and Oral Health

Third molars emerge through the gums during adulthood. This happens years after the rest of one’s teeth have already become established. Teeth emerging during adulthood rarely, if ever, have enough room to actually come through the gum tissue in an upright, healthy position.

Without enough room, wisdom teeth tend to become “stuck” or impacted in the gum tissue. Impacted teeth are especially vulnerable to disease. This is because the gums surrounding the tooth are inflamed and part of the tooth may be exposed, allowing debris and bacteria to become trapped beneath the gums. An impacted tooth can become decayed and abscessed while the surrounding gum tissue is very susceptible to infection (gum disease).

In addition to an increased risk for oral disease, patients who keep their third molars may develop orthodontic problems, malocclusions, and TMJ disorder. The eruption of wisdom teeth can cause existing teeth to shift positions. This is especially cumbersome for those who have already received orthodontic treatment. Wisdom tooth retention can lead to teeth being crowded, crooked, or overlapped. Moreover, misaligned teeth can affect one’s occlusion (bite) and the function of the TMJ (temporomandibular joint).

Lastly, retention of third molars does affect quality of life in many instances. Patients with wisdom teeth often suffer with debilitating headaches and facial pain.


Gentle Wisdom Tooth Removal

To remedy the many negative effects associated with wisdom tooth retention and prevent future oral health complications, extractions are normally recommended. An extraction is an oral surgery procedure where the entire tooth – including its roots – is removed.

When performing an extraction, our dentist takes great care to ensure comfort and peace of mind. Our team will administer local anesthetics and in some cases, sedatives when necessary. For those with pronounced dental phobias, IV sedation may be used to increase comfort and relaxation.

To learn more about tooth extractions, call our office to reserve a consultation with our caring and experienced dentist.

Common Questions

Impacted wisdom teeth can present a number of symptoms including swelling, discomfort in the form of facial pain and toothaches, and inflammation of tissue surrounding the site of the third molar (wisdom tooth). Sometimes, however, an impacted wisdom tooth may be asymptomatic and therefore only detectable to a trained dental professional.
Impacted wisdom teeth should be extracted whether a third molar presents symptoms or not because impacted teeth can negatively affect oral health in various ways. Teeth that are impacted are especially susceptible to becoming abscessed and the tissues surrounding the tooth – the gums and adjacent teeth – can become diseased as well. Moreover, impacted teeth can lead to orthodontic problems, specifically crowding and overlapping of teeth.

The duration of a tooth extraction can vary. Wisdom teeth are often more complicated extractions because these teeth can be situated deep in the bone and positioned in such a way that makes removing them more difficult. Sometimes, patients may have multiple wisdom teeth extracted in one visit and this will obviously take longer. After a thorough and informative consultation, Dr. Buck will be able to provide a more specific time frame.

Dry socket is an issue that can develop after a tooth is extracted. For the extraction site to heal, a blood clot needs to form. If sharp edges of food touch the extraction site or if one touches the extraction site with their fingers or tongue, the blood clot can become dislodged. When a blood clot is dislodged, the tooth socket will become “dry”. Dry socket is painful and it prohibits the healing process. If dry socket develops, patients should come back to our office so that we can reopen the wound, therefore allowing a new clot to form.

Discomfort after having wisdom teeth removed can last for a few days. Fortunately, most patients can greatly reduce discomfort by following our post-operative instructions very closely. Prescribed and/or over-the-counter medications may be necessary to manage pain.