Third molars, or wisdom teeth, are an additional set of teeth that grow under the surface of the gums and, in many cases, are undetectable without the proper X-ray evaluation offered at our offices. It is not uncommon for teens and adults to be unaware that they exist in their mouth until they begin to present significant problems.
In some cases, the third molars may fully grow into the mouth or partially grow into the mouth, and additional issues may arise. If wisdom teeth fully grow into the mouth in the proper position, they have the potential to provide increased chewing and grinding power in the mouth. Unfortunately, the majority of people do not have a long enough jaw bone or a large enough mouth to accommodate proper growth.
Why should I get my wisdom teeth removed?
Whether a patient has impacted, partially grown, or fully grown wisdom teeth, they are at an increased risk for the development of a multitude of oral and dental problems, and these issues may require extensive or costly procedures to correct.
Some of the most prevalent problems that third molars can cause in the mouth are
- Bacterial growth, gum disease, and tooth decay
- Misalignment of healthy teeth as the third molars are implicated in dental crowding and shifting throughout the mouth
- Swelling, stiffness, tenderness, and pain in the mouth — even bad breath — caused by periodontal disease
- Increased risk of tumor growth and cyst development, which can in turn cause issues in healthy teeth and the jaw bone
Maintaining regular dental health checkups with your general dentist should help you to determine when and if third molars are developing. If you currently have wisdom teeth, you should seek treatment as soon as possible to mitigate the issues listed above and avoid costly orthodontic and surgical treatment that may arise from these problems. At Billings Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center, we recommend that third molar detection and removal occur at an early age. The removal process is usually quicker with fewer complications if they are removed early because the roots of the teeth may not be fully developed, and recovery from surgery is typically faster and easier at a younger age.
What happens during surgery?
If you elect to have your third molars removed at our office, Dr. Boyce or Dr. Tracy will perform a thorough oral examination and determine if it is necessary to supplement any X-rays received from your general dentist with additional X-rays or 3D scanning of the mouth. This technology will help them to determine the position and size of the teeth and develop a plan for extraction that ensures optimal recovery.
Your procedure will be performed in our state-of-the-art surgical center. Our doctors have been extensively trained to administer anesthesia and offer many options to ensure that you are as comfortable and anxiety-free for your procedure as possible, including
- Local Anesthesia – an anesthetic applied directly to the area of wisdom teeth removal
- Nitrous Oxide – also known as laughing gas, an anesthetic option used in conjunction with other anesthetic options to calm anxiety during the procedure
- IV Anesthesia – Medications given through an intravenous (IV) line allow our doctors to tailor the anesthesia to your needs — from light sedation to deeper sleep for maximum comfort
If you have any questions before your procedure, our friendly office staff and skilled surgical team would be happy to help you in any way possible. It is our goal to ensure that you are fully informed and at ease before receiving treatment and that you completely understand the pre- and post-operative instructions to ensure optimal recovery.
If you are in need of extractions, we encourage you to contact our office to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled surgeons. At Billings Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center, we do everything in our power to make sure that you have a comfortable and rapid recovery following your surgery and achieve the optimum result.