About Wisdom Teeth in McLean
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
By the age of 18, the average adult has 32 teeth; 16 teeth on the top and 16 teeth on the bottom.
Each tooth in the mouth has a specific name and function. The teeth in the front of the mouth (incisors, canine, and bicuspid teeth) are ideal for grasping and biting food into smaller pieces. The back teeth (molar teeth) are used to grind food up into a consistency suitable for swallowing.
The average mouth is made to hold only 28 teeth. It can be painful when 32 teeth try to fit in a mouth that holds only 28 teeth. These four other teeth are your third molars, also known as wisdom teeth.
Please refer to the nearby radiograph image of a wisdom tooth in a patient’s jaw bone to see how these extra teeth can impact your oral health and jaw function.
Wisdom Tooth Removal Safety
Cone Beam CT
One of the main risk factors in removing lower wisdom teeth is nerve injury. This can, rarely, result in temporary or permanent numbness in the lip and chin area. However, with the latest in 3-D Imaging technology, wisdom teeth removal is safer and more efficient than ever. By locating the nerve in three-dimensional space, Dr. Ali, Dr. Marrazzo and Dr. Nokkeo can keep their patients safer than ever.
Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. When they align properly and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not generally happen. The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum, and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as they attempt to find a pathway that will allow them to successfully erupt.
These poorly positioned impacted teeth can cause many problems. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the teeth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The result: swelling, stiffness, pain, and illness. The pressure from the erupting wisdom teeth may move other teeth and disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment of teeth. The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Removal of the offending impacted teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.
To learn more about the Wisdom Teeth surgical process, visit our Wisdom Teeth Procedure page.