Wisdom Teeth Q & A
Why do my wisdom teeth need to be removed?
In most cases, inadequate space in the mouth prevents wisdom teeth from emerging correctly and becoming fully functional. When this happens, the teeth can become impacted, or stuck, in undesirable or potentially harmful positions.
While not all wisdom teeth require removal, wisdom teeth extractions are most often performed because of an active problem such as pain, swelling, decay, or infection ― or as a preventative measure to avoid serious problems in the future.
If impaction of one or more wisdom teeth is left untreated, some potentially harmful outcomes can occur, including:
- Damage to nearby teeth: Second molars (the teeth directly in front of the wisdom teeth) can be adversely affected by impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in cavities, gum disease, and bone loss
- Disease: Although uncommon, cysts can occur in the areas surrounding impacted wisdom teeth.
- Infection: Bacteria and food can become trapped under the gum tissue, resulting in infection and severe swelling
What happens at my appointment?
Before your wisdom teeth removal, Dr. Lee conducts a thorough examination of the wisdom and surrounding teeth. He’ll use 3D, panoramic, or digital X-rays to evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and determine if a current problem exists (or if a future problem is likely to develop). The X-rays can also expose additional risk factors, such as deterioration or decay of nearby teeth. After it is determined that the wisdom teeth need to be removed, a consult regarding sedation will follow. At that time, health history will be once again reviewed, and the risks and benefits of sedation will be discussed.
Dr. Lee will provide local anesthesia and often intravenous (IV) sedation before removing your wisdom teeth. He may need to stitch the gum to close the space that was created once the teeth are gone, but in many cases, this is unnecessary.
What are the benefits of wisdom teeth removal?
Wisdom teeth removal is a common, fast, and minimally invasive procedure. The surgery does not require an overnight stay, and you will be released with post-operative instructions and medication (if necessary), to help manage any swelling or discomfort.
With your wisdom teeth gone, you can be confident you’ll avoid future oral health problems they may have created.
To book an appointment for wisdom teeth removal with Pacific Northwest Dental Care, call or use the online scheduler.