Wisdom Teeth Extraction
In your lifetime, you will develop a total of 32 adult teeth. Most of these teeth, 28 to be exact, will erupt by around the age of 13. The last 4 to come in are the third molars, more commonly referred to as the wisdom teeth. These teeth received this name because they erupt in your late teens to early 20s. These teeth are also the most likely teeth to become impacted. When your teeth are impacted, they can cause significant pain, which can interfere with your quality of life. Lehigh Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is here to help.
A Short History of the Wisdom Teeth
Long ago, the wisdom teeth served an important function. Before the invention of cooking, the wisdom teeth were crucial for allowing our ancestors to chew a wide variety of hard, coarse foods. The jaw was also much larger, enabling it to accommodate the third molars. Once cooking was introduced, foods were made softer, and easier to chew. The third molars were no longer necessary. Over time, the jaw began to shrink, down to the size it is now. Despite having smaller jaws, humans still develop the wisdom teeth.
How Do Wisdom Teeth Become Impacted?
An impacted tooth is one that cannot properly erupt through the gums or one that does not erupt at all. While any tooth can become impacted, the wisdom teeth are the ones most commonly affected. There are several reasons why wisdom teeth may become impacted, including:
What Happens When the Wisdom Teeth Are Impacted?
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause several complications.
Diagnosing and Treating Impacted Wisdom Teeth
One of the biggest indicators of impacted wisdom teeth is a pain at the back of your jaw. When you are experiencing pain, it is important that you seek treatment right away. We first perform an exam to determine the cause of your discomfort. We look at the back of the mouth, checking for signs of partially erupted teeth, infections, and tooth damage. Diagnosing impacted wisdom teeth also requires x-rays. With x-rays, we can see the exact location of your wisdom teeth, cysts, and even damage to other teeth.
Once we have diagnosed your impacted wisdom teeth, we can then create a custom treatment plan. The best way to treat impacted wisdom teeth, and restore the health of your mouth, is to extract them. Wisdom teeth are typically removed with a surgical extraction. Done under a local anesthetic, incisions in the gums provide us with access to the impacted teeth and the surrounding bone. We then remove the teeth, removing small amounts of bone or sectioning the teeth if necessary. Once the teeth are removed, the gums are sutured closed. Because the wisdom teeth serve no function, there is no need to replace them. Read more about Wisdom Teeth.
If your wisdom teeth are causing you pain and interfering with your daily life, they may be impacted. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Lehigh Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at (610) 435-6161 today.
1251 S Cedar Crest Blvd #311
Allentown, PA 18103-6205
800 Main St #105,
Hellertown, PA 18055