Wisdom Teeth

imageYour wisdom teeth, also called third molars, usually begin to erupt between the ages of 16-21. Because they are the last teeth to emerge in the mouth, they are the most common to become impacted. This may happen when they are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum, or 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 may eventually cause infection, swelling and pain. The pressure from the erupting wisdom tooth may cause crowding or disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment of teeth. Removal of the impacted teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.

At a consultation appointment, Dr. Harper will review your x-rays to evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and will be able to see if there may be present or future problems. He will thoroughly explain the procedure and review all pre-operative instructions and answer all of your questions.

All outpatient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. Dr. Harper has the training, license and experience to provide anesthesia. These services are provided in an environment of optimum safety, utilizing modern monitoring equipment and staff experienced in anesthesia techniques.