Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars to grow into the back four corners of the mouth. Between the ages of 17 and 25, the average person typically develops four wisdom teeth. Their growth is somewhat unpredictable and it is possible to develop more than four or fewer than four. Fortunately, dentists are trained to detect the molars in the early stages of growth, and they can refer you to our Springfield, IL, office for removal.
How do I know I need my wisdom teeth removed?
Many patients and parents of patients wonder if it is necessary to have third molars extracted, but the answer differs for everyone. The size of the mouth is a major deciding factor in whether or not a patient requires extractions, but it’s not the only one. The best way to find out if you or your child needs the third molars removed is to attend a consultation at our office. Our oral surgeons are specially qualified to examine and safely remove wisdom teeth. Some of the most common reasons that patients require extractions include
- Impaction. When wisdom teeth become impacted (impeded eruption because of an interference), they tend to cause oral health problems, such as infection, cysts, and tumors.
- Lack of space. The average mouth is too small to accommodate another set of molars. Without enough space to grow correctly, third molars can cause dental crowding, damage to nearby teeth, and more.
- Prevention. We suggest removing third molars to prevent symptoms from ever appearing and avoid complications that often arise with their growth, even though the patient may not be experiencing any symptoms yet.
If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort in the back of your jaw or your general dentist sees a potential future problem, we encourage you to contact our office in Springfield, IL, to set up a consultation appointment. Early removal helps lower the chance of damage and other future problems for your oral health. Younger patients also make for an easier procedure and recovery.
Removal differs with every patient, and many factors can affect the procedure process, including the number of teeth requiring extraction, their position in the mouth, their stage of growth, and whether they are impacted. During your consultation, your oral surgeon will examine your condition and take all of these factors into consideration when developing your individualized treatment plan.
After your consultation appointment and before your procedure, you will have time to prepare your surgery, which includes reviewing pre- and post-operative instructions. We will provide you with these during your first visit to help you prepare and feel comfortable. When you return to the office for your extractions, your oral surgeon will administer your chosen form of anesthesia, whether that is local anesthetic, nitrous oxide (laughing gas), or IV sedation. When the anesthetic has taken effect, the surgeon will carefully expose the tooth, if impacted, which may include a small incision, remove bone and/or tooth structure, and remove the wisdom teeth with specialized surgical instruments. In most cases, sutures (stitches) will be required and are often the type that dissolve on their own. You will then recover in the office, receive appropriate medications for comfort and to prevent infection (pain medication and antibiotics, if warranted), and proceed home to recover as guided by your post-operative instructions.
Wisdom Teeth in Springfield, IL
If your dentist has told you that you need your wisdom teeth extracted, or if you have been experiencing symptoms such as pain or swelling, please contact our office. Our doctors will identify if you need your molars extracted and develop a personalized plan for removal. We look forward to hearing from you and scheduling your consultation.