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 very last molar in the back of the mouth is called the wisdom teeth. The wisdom teeth can attempt to erupt in the ages 14 to 18.
Very few people actually have enough room to physically accomodate their wisdom teeth. The ideal age is usually around 16 years of age for wisdom tooth removal. At this age adolecents heal well and the risks of surgery are minimized because the roots have not fully developed. If the roots are allowed to fully develop, important anatomic structures like the maxillary sinus, in the top jaw, and a sensory nerve, in the lower jaw, become involved.
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 results: 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.
Dr. Schultz believes in removal of wisdom teeth at the age of around 16. He has seen many unfortunate situations because of delayed removal. People have lost the tooth in front of the wisdom tooth, experienced infections, pathology, and pain. Unfortunately, as we age, wisdom teeth removal becomes more complicated due to slowed healing and increased risks.
With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, Dr. Schultz can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there are present or possible 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.
Dr. Schultz has the training, licenses, and experience to provide various types of anesthesia. All outpatient surgery is performed under the appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort.
Our services are provided in an environment of optimum safety that utilizes modern monitoring equipment and staff who are experienced in anesthesia techniques.
Dr. Schultz is an expert at wisdom teeth removal and has enjoyed performing this procedure daily since 1993. His staff is well trained and will take the time to explain what to expect before, during, and after the procedure. We use the latest anesthesia techniques to make sure you are 100% comfortable for the procedure. Intravenous sedation allows you to have the surgery without feeling or remembering any of the procedure. We will continuously monitor your vital signs with the latest monitoring equipment to make sure you are safe throughout the procedure and in recovery. Dr. Schultz is current in Advanced Cardiac Life support and he and his staff seek out continuing education to maintain our proficiency and knowledge base in sedation techniques. You can resume normal activities after 2 to 3 days of recovery. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at Dr. Charles J Schultz, Southeast Dental Group, PC Phone Number 907-586-9586.