By the age of eighteen, the average adult has 32 teeth; 16 teeth on the top and 16 teeth on the bottom. Each tooth in the mouth has a specific name and function. The teeth in the front of the mouth (incisors, canine and bicuspid teeth) are ideal for grasping and biting food into smaller pieces. The back teeth or molar teeth are used to grind food up into a consistency suitable for swallowing. The average mouth has space for only 28 teeth. Many problems can develop when 32 teeth try to fit into a mouth that only has room for 28 teeth. The four other teeth are your Third Molars, also known as "wisdom teeth."
Why Should I Remove My Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are 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. 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 jawbone 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.
Following a thorough examination of your mouth and x-rays, Doctor Massoth can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and determine if there are current problems or if future issues are likely to arise. Studies have shown that the early evaluation and treatment of wisdom teeth result in a superior outcome for the patient. This evaluation is typically performed in the mid-teenage years by one’s dentist, orthodontist or by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. All outpatient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. Doctor Massoth has the training, experience, and required certification and licensure to provide various types of anesthesia for his patients. These services are provided in an environment of optimum safety that utilizes modern monitoring equipment and staff that are experienced in anesthesia techniques.