Friday, July 10, 2009

Summertime is a great time for teens and young adults to have an evaluation for wisdom tooth removal. If a teenager or young adult has wisdom teeth that should be removed, they will not miss school during the summer break.

Why the name wisdom teeth?
Third molars are called wisdom teeth as they usually arrive when one begins to exhibit more rational adult behavior. They usually arrive between the ages of 17 and 22 years old.

What is the big deal with Wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth
are often cannot develop into useful teeth. The reason is that they do not fit onto the jaw of the average adult. As they begin to erupt, wisdom teeth bump into the second molar (called the twelve year molar). The wisdom tooth cannot slide into place and now becomes stuck (impacted).

Why not leave the impacted tooth alone?
An impacted wisdom tooth now becomes a problem for itself and the second molar. In time, pain and infection can result from this situation. The second molar can develop a cavity and gum disease at the site of the impaction.

How do we know if Wisdom teeth should be removed?

We recommend removal of wisdom teeth when it looks as though there is insufficient room for them to erupt into place. We can see often these wisdom teeth lurking in the area of the second molar on routine bitewing x-rays. When we detect wisdom teeth we will order a special x-ray to see how many wisdom teeth are present. We also want to determine the position, size and, shape of the wisdom tooth and it's roots.

At what point do you know when to remove wisdom teeth?
Wisdom tooth removal is easily accomplished when the roots of these teeth are 2/3 formed. The reason we take wisdom teeth about at this time is because the alveolar bone surrounding the tooth and the roots are still pliable making removal simpler. Younger patients heal fast and there are less complications from their removal.

What is the procedure?
Removal can be done with local anesthetic, or a combination of local anesthetic, oral premedication, laughing gas (nitrous oxide) or IV sedation. Depending on the location and shape of the tooth the doctor will chose the best method to remove it.

Who removes wisdom teeth?
Your local dentist has training in wisdom tooth removal. He or she may even have additional training in medications and complex wisdom tooth removal. Your dentist may also refer you to an oral surgeon.

Remember, summer is an ideal time for wisdom tooth removal.

Schedule a wisdom tooth evaluation today.

Phillip C. Neal DDS

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About Me

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Born in the Midwest. Married with 6 children and 3 grandchildren. Attended Maine West High School, Harper Jr College, Northern Illinois University, the University of Illinois College of Dentistry. Practice in Crystal Lake, Illinois.