Third Molar (Wisdom Tooth) Surgery
Third molars, or “Wisdom Teeth” as they are commonly referred to, are the 4 permanent adult molars located at the back corners of your mouth on the top and bottom. If wisdom teeth don’t have sufficient room to erupt and grow into alignment, (we say it’s “impacted”), this can result in pain and infection of the surrounding soft tissues, as well as possible decay on the tooth itself due to it being difficult to clean. This may necessitate its removal. Wisdom teeth can be removed by general dentists or oral surgeons.
Sometimes your dentist will recommend removing impacted wisdom teeth in order to prevent problems from occurring (preventative dentistry). Wisdom teeth are the last permanent teeth to erupt into the mouth. They usually show up between the ages of 16 and 26. Some (lucky) individuals never develop wisdom teeth. For others, wisdom teeth erupt into normal alignment, and do not cause any dental problems. However, many people will develop wisdom teeth that are impacted.
Impacted wisdom teeth may:
- Grow at an angle toward the back of the mouth
- Grow towards the tooth in front of it, literally leaning into it
- Grow at a 90-degree angle to the tooth in front of it, so it looks as if it’s lying down sideways.
- Grow straight up and down, but not grow all the way out, so that part of it it is still hidden.
What problems can impacted Wisdom teeth cause?
- Pain in the soft tissues surrounding it
- They can trap food and debris in and around the teeth, resulting in tooth decay and eventual infection of the tooth
- By being a food trap, often times the molar in front of the wisdom tooth will also develop cavities in areas that are difficult to repair, which may lead to that molar having to be extracted as well.
- Development of cysts around the impacted wisdom teeth. These can cause extensive jaw bone destruction.
Will it hurt?
- Because third molar removal is considered it a surgery, it is reasonable to expect a certain level of pain and discomfort AFTER the procedure. However, during the procedure there should be no pain at all. Dr. Chiang and Dr. Goel are skilled in the use of anesthetics and various sedation techniques that can help prevent pain during the procedure.
- It is important that after the surgery, you follow our instructions regarding postoperative care. This includes instructions regarding home care for the surgical sites, and use of medications that may be prescribed by Dr. Chiang or Dr. Goel. Failure to follow the instructions may result in post-operative complications like dry sockets, swell, more pain, etc.
- As mentioned above, we offer several sedation options including Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) and sedation via anti-anxiety pills (“conscious sedation), and so we can pretty much guarantee a pain-free, anxiety-free experience during the procedure.
Convenient Appointments for the Whole Family
At Pure Dental Arts, Dr. Chiang and Dr. Goel are skilled and trained at third molar removal. We believe that preventatively removing wisdom teeth can go a long way towards preventing potentially serious, life-threatening infections. However, we understand that the procedure, like all dental procedures, is elective. Some patients may elect not extract them right away, in such a case, we would monitor the wisdom teeth closely at regular checkups, to screen for signs of infection or tooth decay. If you feel you need wisdom teeth removal, contact us today at Pure Dental Arts, located in Greater Queen Anne, Seattle, WA.