Wisdom Teeth

Most people get their wisdom teeth—or third set of molars—when they are in their late teens or early twenties. For some, they grow in without incident. If wisdom teeth align properly without any damage to the surrounding gum tissue, they can probably be left alone.

If your wisdom teeth do pose a problem, however, at Burnham Oral Surgery we can extract them safely with minimal discomfort. Call us today to talk about the procedure.

The Problem with Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth seldom come in correctly because most jaws cannot accommodate these large molars. They may grow sideways or only part of the tooth might erupt through the gum. When this happens, bacteria can get into the site and cause an infection.

Sometimes they never erupt, staying below the gumline. This is referred to as impacted. Serious problems can result from impacted teeth, including the development of tumors or cysts, which can destroy your jawbone and healthy teeth.

Whether they erupt or are impacted, wisdom teeth can cause your other teeth to shift, ruining the natural alignment of teeth. If you had orthodontics, the wisdom teeth could push your teeth right out of alignment, completely disrupting your investment.

Removing the problematic wisdom teeth is recommended to avoid such problems in the future. Doing the procedure sooner rather than later also helps to decrease surgical risk.

The Extraction Process

Before extraction, Dr. Burnham or Dr. Stearns will evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth with an oral exam and by using state-of-the-art technology, such as 3-D imaging and digital x-rays. They will assess whether there are problems currently or if there will be in the future. If extraction is necessary, they will plan a safe surgical procedure.

We offer several different types of anesthesia to ensure your comfort during the procedure. We use modern monitoring equipment and a team that is experienced in anesthesia techniques to ensure your safety as well. The options will be explained at your initial appointment, and you and your oral surgeon can talk about which type of anesthesia is best for your situation.

After the Extraction Process

You may have gum sutures at the extraction site, so it’s important to follow our post-surgery instructions carefully. After the procedure, you will rest in our office until you are ready to go home. Be sure to have a friend or family member available to drive you.

When you are discharged, we will give you a kit to take home that includes:

  • Instructions on self-care
  • Gauze
  • An ice pack
  • A water bottle for saltwater rinses

We will ask to see you one week after the surgery. At that time, we’ll provide you with an irrigation syringe, which we will show you how to use on the lower sockets.

Call us today to find out if your wisdom teeth should be extracted. If you have questions before you make an appointment for a consultation, feel free to give us a call!