The surgeons at Arizona Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons offer wisdom teeth evaluations and removal in Oro Valley, AZ. Wisdom teeth are the last molars that grow in the very back of the mouth. Most people develop four wisdom teeth, which finish growing in between ages 17 and 25. If your wisdom teeth grow into a potentially damaging position, you may be referred to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for removal. Our oral surgeons can perform an exam including X-rays to determine whether your wisdom teeth should be removed.
Even though wisdom teeth don’t finish growing in until early adulthood, it’s important to have regular dental exams before the wisdom teeth are fully developed. Early detection and removal of wisdom teeth are widely considered to be the best ways to prevent oral health problems like impaction, infection, and oral pain.
Why have wisdom teeth removed?
If your wisdom teeth are healthy, fully erupted, and positioned properly in the dental arch, they may not need to be taken out. Unfortunately, most patients’ jaws are too small for the extra molars to grow in without causing problems. When wisdom teeth are positioned poorly, most dental professionals recommend removing them before the root structure develops. This makes the procedure easier and safer for the patient and prevents oral health problems, such as the following, from occurring:
- Impaction (where teeth are partially trapped beneath the gums) creates a space for bacteria and germs to hide, which leads to infections.
- Infections around the tooth and gum tissue can spread to healthy teeth and bone tissue, causing pain and other problems.
- If impactions go untreated, cysts and tumors can develop, which can cause permanent bone damage to the area around the tooth.
- When wisdom teeth grow in sideways, they can cause damage to adjacent teeth.
- Wisdom teeth growing in sideways can force adjacent teeth out of position. This can eventually create dental crowding, especially around the bottom front teeth.
Having wisdom teeth checked and evaluated before they erupt allows you and your dental team to prevent these problems before they occur.
When is the best time for wisdom teeth removal?
The right time for removal depends more on the development stage of the teeth than the age of the patient. Usually, if the wisdom teeth are showing signs of poor positioning or other problems, removal will be recommended sometime between the ages of 13 and 20. The teeth are less developed and easier to remove at this stage, which makes recovery easier for the patient.
If you are recommended for wisdom teeth removal, it’s a good idea to schedule your procedure around a break from work or school, so that you will have time to rest and recover for a few days.
What is the procedure like?
Wisdom teeth removal is one of the most routine oral surgery procedures. At Arizona Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, our doctor will be happy to answer any questions you have about the procedure when you come in for your consultation appointment. You will also have a chance to discuss your anesthesia options with your surgeon. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained in anesthesia administration for patients of all ages to ensure your comfort and safety.
On the day of your procedure, you will need to arrive after fasting for 8 hours and with a designated driver if IV anesthesia is going to be used. First, your surgeon will administer your anesthetic to prevent any discomfort during surgery. Usually, patients choose to undergo IV anesthesia, falling into a sleep-like state until the procedure is over. If the teeth are still beneath the gums, the surgeon will lift the gum tissue to the side to reach the teeth. Sometimes the wisdom teeth will be sectioned into smaller pieces for removal. Once the teeth are removed, the surgical sites will be sutured and you will rest until your anesthesia wears off.
After removal, you will be taken home by your driver. It’s a good idea to eat soft foods for a few days after surgery. The surgical sites will have to remain clean while they heal over the next couple of weeks, but most patients find that they can return to their normal schedules after just a couple days of rest.
Wisdom Teeth Removals in Oro Valley, AZ
If you or your child need wisdom teeth removed, feel free to contact our office in Oro Valley, AZ. One of our staff members will be happy to help you schedule a consultation with one of our oral surgeons.