The four wisdom teeth, or third molars as they are really known, are the last adult teeth to erupt and usually make their appearance between the ages of 17 – 24. Our Canton oral surgeon, Dr. John N. Santin often recommends that these final teeth be removed when they are causing a crowding of the mouth, are impacted, come in at an angle, causing adjacent teeth to shift, food is lodging behind them or are causing infections, pain or discomfort. The human mouth was designed to hold 28 teeth comfortably and the four wisdom teeth bring the total up to 32, so for many people something has to go.
If one of the wisdom teeth is impacted or causing a problem many dentist recommend pulling all four. Some dentists argue that the four wisdom teeth should be pulled even if they are not causing any immediate problem just to prevent a problem from arising at a later date. Our Canton oral surgeon extracts the wisdom teeth through a simple surgical procedure that is done on an outpatient basis in our office. Once the area is numb our doctor will make a small incision in the gum to expose the tooth and bone and then the doctor will remove and bone that blocks access to the tooth’s roots. Generally, the doctor will then break the tooth up into several pieces, which are easier to remove than the whole tooth at once. After the tooth has been removed the site will be cleaned to make sure there is no debris left from the tooth or bone and the wound is closed using a few stitches.
Our Canton oral surgeon gives each patient specific instruction for follow-up care after the surgery. The wounds from the surgery generally heal quite quickly if the patient refrains from eating the wrong types of food and irritating the area. Any post-operative pain should be relatively mild and controlled by the use of over-the-counter pain relievers. So, be smart and lose a little wisdom by having your third molars extracted whenever it becomes necessary.