Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth, officially referred to as third molars, are usually the last teeth to develop and are located in the back part of your mouth. They usually complete development between the ages of 20 and 25, a time traditionally associated with the onset of maturity and the attainment of Wisdom.

 

Since the wisdom teeth are the last to develop, they may not have enough room to adequately erupt into the mouth to become fully functional and cleansable teeth. This lack of room or space can result in a number of harmful effects on your overall dental health. When this occurs they are said to be impacted, indicating their inability to erupt into an alignment which will allow them to function in the chewing process.

 

There are differing DEGREES OF IMPACTION of wisdom teeth. Some do erupt into the mouth, but their position and location in the mouth makes them difficult to clean. Others are covered by gum tissue only. There are also varying degrees of bone coverage from partial to very deep.

 

During your consultation appointment Dr. Logue will examine your mouth and your panographic X-ray to determine if wisdom tooth removal would be of benefit to you.

Latest Findings on Wisdom Teeth

80% of young adults who retained healthy wisdom teeth develop problems in seven years.

 

Monitoring retained wisdom teeth over a lifetime may be more expensive than extraction.

 

Most patients (60%) with asymptomatic wisdom teeth prefer extraction to retention.

 

Even when wisdom teeth are asymptomatic, their position and location in the mouth makes them difficult to clean.  This leads to accumulation of harmful bacteria and periodontal pathology.  This often spreads to the adjacent second molars.

Oral Examination

With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, Dr. Logue can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there may be present or 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. Logue has the training, license, experience and Board Certification to provide various types of anesthesia to allow patients to select the best alternative. These services are provided in an environment of optimum safety, utilizing modern monitoring equipment and a staff experienced in anesthesia techniques.

Removal of Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are a valuable asset to the mouth when they are healthy and properly positioned. Often, however, problems develop that require their removal. When the jaw isn’t large enough to accommodate wisdom teeth, they can become impacted (unable to come in or misaligned). Wisdom teeth may grow sideways, emerge only part way from the gum or remain trapped beneath the gum and bone.

 

Extraction of wisdom teeth is generally recommended when:

 

Wisdom teeth only partially erupt. This leaves an opening for bacteria to enter around the tooth and cause an infection. Pain, swelling, jaw stiffness and general illness can result.

 

There is a chance that poorly aligned wisdom teeth will damage adjacent teeth.

 

Retention of wisdom teeth following orthodontics (braces) can lead to re-crowding of straightened teeth.

 

A cyst (fluid-filled sac) forms, destroying surrounding structures such as bone or tooth roots.

 

Patients should ask Dr. Logue about the health and positioning of their wisdom teeth.

Removal of Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are a valuable asset to the mouth when they are healthy and properly positioned. Often, however, problems develop that require their removal. When the jaw isn’t large enough to accommodate wisdom teeth, they can become impacted (unable to come in or misaligned). Wisdom teeth may grow sideways, emerge only part way from the gum or remain trapped beneath the gum and bone.

 

Extraction of wisdom teeth is generally recommended when:

 

Wisdom teeth only partially erupt. This leaves an opening for bacteria to enter around the tooth and cause an infection. Pain, swelling, jaw stiffness and general illness can result.

 

There is a chance that poorly aligned wisdom teeth will damage adjacent teeth.

 

Retention of wisdom teeth following orthodontics (braces) can lead to re-crowding of straightened teeth.

 

A cyst (fluid-filled sac) forms, destroying surrounding structures such as bone or tooth roots.

 

Patients should ask Dr. Logue about the health and positioning of their wisdom teeth.

Removal of Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are a valuable asset to the mouth when they are healthy and properly positioned. Often, however, problems develop that require their removal. When the jaw isn’t large enough to accommodate wisdom teeth, they can become impacted (unable to come in or misaligned). Wisdom teeth may grow sideways, emerge only part way from the gum or remain trapped beneath the gum and bone.

 

Extraction of wisdom teeth is generally recommended when:

 

Wisdom teeth only partially erupt. This leaves an opening for bacteria to enter around the tooth and cause an infection. Pain, swelling, jaw stiffness and general illness can result.

 

There is a chance that poorly aligned wisdom teeth will damage adjacent teeth.

 

Retention of wisdom teeth following orthodontics (braces) can lead to re-crowding of straightened teeth.

 

A cyst (fluid-filled sac) forms, destroying surrounding structures such as bone or tooth roots.

 

Patients should ask Dr. Logue about the health and positioning of their wisdom teeth.

Post Operative Instructions for Wisdom Teeth

General Instructions:
Do not rinse your mouth vigorously, spit, use a straw, or brush your teeth for 24 hours following surgery as these actions may result in bleeding. Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid alcoholic beverages and excessive chewing right after surgery. Begin by eating soft foods the first day. More solid foods can be added as soon as they can be chewed comfortably. Do not eat peanuts, popcorn or similar foods until the sockets have healed. Reduce your physical activity and avoid strenuous exercise for the first week. Do not smoke as this will delay healing and may lead to increased discomfort.

 

Bleeding:
Maintain biting pressure on gauze for at least one hour following surgery, then carefully remove. In case of continued or excessive bleeding place two fresh, clean 3″ x 3″ gauze pads folded over directly on top of the socket and bite down firmly for 20-30 minutes. Slight oozing will persist for 24 hours or more and should not be cause for undue concern. After several hours, if brisk bleeding persists even though pressure has been applied, consult us for advice and instructions. Keep your head elevated while sleeping the first night after surgery.

 

Swelling:
You can expect swelling following oral surgery, especially with impacted teeth. This swelling will generally reach it’s peak 48 hours after surgery. An ice pack applied alternating from side to side for 20 minutes at a time will help ease discomfort and reduce swelling. Ice should be used for the first 48 hours. Warm, moist compresses should be used after 48 hours to help increase blood flow to the surgical site.

 

Oral Hygiene:
Begin rinsing your mouth the morning after surgery. At first, rinse your mouth with a warm salt water solution made up of a small amount of salt in a large glass of water. Rinsing should be done after each meal, upon arising in the morning and before going to bed at night. After a few days, you may if you desire, switch to a mouth rinse of diluted mouth wash. Maintain your normal oral hygiene by beginning to carefully brush your teeth on the day following surgery.

 

Pain Medication:
Tylenol, Advil, or a similar substitute may be taken for mild pain. You will have been given a prescription for a stronger pain medication. An antibiotic may also be prescribed. Take your first dose of pain medication before the local anesthetic (numbness) begins to wear off. Thereafter take the medication only if necessary to control pain. Do not drive a vehicle, operate machinery or drink alcohol or take tranquilizers or sleeping pills while taking the prescription pain medications. Prescriptions for antibiotics should be taken as instructed until the medication is finished. If you are a female taking birth control pills please be aware that prescription drugs can interfere with the action of birth control pills and you should rely on some other form of birth control during this current monthly cycle.

 

Fever:
An increased temperature of 100-101 degrees F is expected for a few days following surgery. If after the third postoperative day your swelling increases or your temperature is greater than 100 F please contact our office.

 

Suture Removal:

The sutures are dissolvable and most of the time they fall out on their own. An appointment will be made to evaluate healing and remove any remaining suture material.

 

Alveolar Osteitis (Dry Sockets):
Dry socket is an early loss of blood clot and is characterized by dull throbbing pain which may radiate to the ear. This can be identified by pain which is increasing rather than getting better 3-4 days after extraction. The socket can be medicated to relieve this pain and it is recommended that you call our office for treatment as needed.

 

Other Symptoms That May Occur:
Bruising (black and blue or yellow), jaw stiffness, weakness, and headache. Small bone fragments or sharp edges may arise. If troublesome please return to Dr. Logue’s office for treatment. Occasional numbness of the lip, chin, or tongue may occur, especially after removal of wisdom teeth. This numbness is usually transient and in most cases will return to normal in 1-6 months.

 

Emergencies:
Dr. Logue is on call for after hours emergencies involving bleeding, infections or severe pain for patients of record. For prescription refills, appointments, or routine questions please call during office hours if possible.


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