Wisdom teeth (also known as third molars) are the most posterior teeth in the dental arch and generally erupt in patients in their late teens or early twenties. In some instances, there is enough room and the wisdom teeth erupt without any problems, Generally, however, there isn’t enough room for the wisdom teeth to grow in properly because the jaws don’t have enough space for them to come in. When there isn’t enough room, wisdom teeth tend to come in at an angle and are misaligned. The term “impacted” refers to this situation where the wisdom teeth are trapped in your jaw or under your gums. Poor alignment of wisdom teeth can crowd or damage adjacent teeth, the jawbone or nerves.
The most common reason for wisdom teeth to need removal are:
- Damage to adjacent teeth
- Gum disease
- Tooth decay
Usually wisdom teeth are removed under conscious sedation, where the patient is put to sleep in a safe controlled environment. Before proceeding with the treatment, Dr. Patel will take into consideration the health history ensuring that the patient is a good candidate for sedation. In some instances, Dr. Patel may recommend another anesthetic approach. All risks and complications will be reviewed with the patient. Occasionally, a 3D imaging scan may be necessary to obtain further information to provide the most thorough information.
Given the nature of the surgery, the typical wisdom tooth treatment begins with a consultation during which time, Dr. Patel will review the x-rays and exam the patient. All treatment options will be reviewed and explained to the patient. Additionally, our office will do our best to estimate insurance coverage for your wisdom teeth removal. The patient is then free to decide how they would like to proceed with treatment.