What happens when 32 teeth try and squeeze into a space meant for 28?
The third set of molars, or "wisdom teeth", begin to erupt in the mouth between ages 17 and 25. When the jaws are too small, these molars often become malaligned and impacted. Many break only part-way through the gums and become a chronic food trap where plaque, tartar and germs begin to grow. With no possibility of proper hygiene: decay and infection usually follow. Toothaches, bone loss, compromise to the neighbouring molars and abscesses often result. Typically damage begins well before the patient perceives any symptoms. As well, some wisdom teeth will develop destructive cysts, while others may interfere with orthodontic treatments.
Not all unerupted third molars require removal.An Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon is dually qualified in the assessment and management of impacted wisdom teeth.
The patient's symptoms, the findings of an oral examination, and dental X-rays of the mouth are all used to predict which wisdom teeth are likely to remain innocuous and which might become problematic. In addition, the patient's input is a valued asset in the decision making and treatment planning process. For further information regarding your wisdom teeth, please ask your dentist to set up a referral with Dr. Villa's office.
If surgical removal is undertaken, procedures can be performed with local anesthesia, sedation or general anesthesia. Most patients require a few days at home in recovery. Post-operation instructions, appropriate prescriptions, contact information and follow-up appointments: are all provided to our patients to smooth out the recovery period.