Wisdom Teeth FAQ in Centennial CO
By the age of 18, 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 (molar teeth) are used to grind food up into a consistency suitable for swallowing.
The average mouth is made to hold only 28 teeth. It can be painful when 32 teeth try to fit in a mouth that holds only 28 teeth. These four other teeth are your third molars, also known as “wisdom teeth.”
Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
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 successfully erupt.
These poorly positioned impacted teeth can cause many problems. When they have partially erupted, the opening around the teeth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The result: swelling, stiffness, pain, and illness. The pressure from the erupting wisdom teeth 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 teeth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Removal of the offending 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.
Wisdom Teeth Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of wisdom teeth, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to wisdom teeth are discussed.
With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, Dr. Barney can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there are present or may be future problems. Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment result in a superior outcome for the patient. Patients are generally first evaluated in the mid-teenage years by their dentist, orthodontist, or by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
All outpatient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. Dr. Barney has the training, license, and experience to provide various types of anesthesia for patients to select the best alternative.
In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under local anesthesia, laughing gas (nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia), or general anesthesia. These options, as well as the surgical risks (i.e., sensory nerve damage, sinus complications), will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed. Once the teeth are removed, the gum is sutured. To help control bleeding, bite down on the gauze placed in your mouth. You will rest under our supervision in the office until you are ready to be taken home. Upon discharge, your postoperative kit will include postoperative instructions, a prescription for pain medication, antibiotics, and a follow-up appointment in two weeks. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at Centennial Office Phone Number 720-638-3888.
Our services are provided in an environment of optimum safety that utilizes modern monitoring equipment and staff who are experienced in anesthesia techniques.
Wisdom Teeth Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How Many Days Off Do You Need for Wisdom Teeth?
Every patient and case is unique, but on average, wisdom teeth extractions require about a 3-day recovery. That’s one reason the holidays and summer vacation are an ideal time to schedule surgery. The procedure is common and routine, but the key to a successful recovery is following the aftercare instructions that we provide you. Ignoring the rules and failing to rest can result in a prolonged healing period and possible infection and other complications. You don’t want to rush the process.
What Happens If You Never Get Your Wisdom Teeth Pulled Out?
There are those very rare cases when patients don’t need to have their wisdom teeth removed. From time to time, we see a patient whose wisdom teeth appear to have fit nicely in the mouth and don’t need removal. However, these patients’ wisdom teeth are still prone to disease and must be monitored for life. There are also very few people who never get wisdom teeth.
What Age Do You Get Wisdom Teeth?
We recommend having your wisdom teeth removed between the ages of 17-25 before the roots have fully developed and entwined themselves in the nerves located in the jawbone. Waiting makes removal much more complicated.
Do Wisdom Teeth Have a Purpose?
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are located at the back of our mouths and serve as flatter teeth that help grind down food. But today, we no longer need three sets of molars to eat a diet of roots, leaves, meat, and nuts. We cook our food to soften it, and we cut it up and crush it with kitchen tools and utensils. Although anthropologists are beginning to believe humans have evolved away from needing wisdom teeth, similar to our appendix, studies show that at least 53 percent of us still get at least one wisdom tooth.
How Painful Is a Wisdom Tooth Removal?
During your wisdom teeth extraction, you won’t feel a thing. IV conscious sedation is administered safely in our office to get you through oral surgery with no anxiety. During the entire procedure, you are continually monitored for every vital sign, and you’re also breathing on your own, unlike with hospital general anesthesia where you are intubated with a breathing tube during surgery.
It doesn’t require that much medication to keep you asleep during surgery since the first thing that we do once you are asleep is numb up all of the surgical sites. Once you are numb and comfortable, it takes relatively low amounts of medicine to keep you asleep during the surgery.
It isn’t uncommon for patients to have soreness for a few days following the surgery as the anesthesia wears off. Before surgery, we will discuss pain control methods and set you up with any necessary prescriptions, so that you remain comfortable at home as well.