What are wisdom teeth?

Third molars are commonly referred to as wisdom teeth.  They are typically the last teeth to erupt in your mouth. If healthy and functional, your wisdom teeth can be useful.  However, there are many reasons as to why you may need to consider removing your wisdom teeth.  In some cases, your wisdom teeth are in fact healthy but because of orthodontic treatment they need to be removed anyway.  In other instances your wisdom teeth can become impacted or only partially erupt through the gum in a misalignment.

How do I know if I need to remove my wisdom teeth?

When impacted or partially impacted your wisdom teeth can cause swelling, pain, and even infection of the surrounding gum. T hey can also put pressure on the adjacent teeth which can result in permanent damage to these otherwise healthy teeth and their surrounding bones. Sometimes impacted or partially impacted wisdom teeth can also lead to the formation of cysts and in worst case scenarios, even tumors which could potentially destroy an entire section of your jaw.  Lastly, a fully erupted wisdom tooth needs to be removed because they are very hard to clean and can cause severe tooth decay. So for these reasons, sometimes the smart move is to have your wisdom teeth removed.

How can I get scheduled to take my wisdom teeth out?

The first step is to schedule a consultation at our office by calling us at 847-297-0808. During your appointment we perform a thorough examination of your wisdom teeth and take a panoramic x-ray to see how they are positioned.  It is important that you notify us of your medical condition, such as, whether you have any artificial joints, diabetes, or a history of heart and valve conditions. You should also inform us of any medications you are currently or previously have taken, such as, Redux, Phen Fen, blood thinners, or importantly medications that contain Biphosphonates, like Fosamax.

How do you remove my wisdom teeth?

First, a local anesthetic is given to make the procedure comfortable.  Once the area is numb the extraction begins. A dental instrument, called an elevator, is used to wiggle the tooth in its socket. After the tooth is loosened, it is removed using forceps or in some more complicated cases a surgical hand piece is also used to assist with the removal of the tooth.

When should I have my wisdom teeth removed?

There is no single right answer to this question.  if your dentist has advised you you’re your wisdom teeth look potentially problematic, it’s generally best to remove them sooner rather than later. This advice is based on the fact that the younger you are the faster you heal.  The likelihood of lingering numbness, jaw fracture or other complications also increases with age.  It is important to note that the longer you keep the troublesome wisdom tooth in your mouth, the longer it has to cause further problems in the future.  So listen to your dentist and don’t delay the removal of your wisdom teeth when advised.  Be sure to ask your dentist for proper home care and post operative instruction care.  If you have any additional questions, please consult your dentist.