Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last set of molars to grow in with the rest of our permanent teeth. When there isn’t enough room for them to grow into the correct position, they often become impacted or infected during development and require removal. It is usually best to remove wisdom teeth early, generally in the mid to late teens, to avoid the complications they can cause.
At MOSA Oral Maxillofacial & Dental Implant Surgery, our oral surgeons routinely extract wisdom teeth at both of our offices in Monterey, CA, and Salinas, CA. Dr. Michael Lewis and Dr. Ryan Lloyd have years of experience extracting problematic teeth and work with patients of all ages, including young children and teens. We encourage all patients to maintain checkups a dentist to identify wisdom tooth growth early and monitor their development for timely removal.
Do I need a wisdom teeth extraction?
Each patient’s wisdom teeth begin to erupt from beneath the gums at different rates. Our third molars start growing as early as age 12 and may finish maturing during the early 20s. Many patients develop all four wisdom teeth in the mouth. However, more and fewer wisdom teeth are common as well. Unless wisdom teeth have enough room to grow and function normally, oral surgeons recommend early removal as third molars are not necessary for daily oral function. The complications they can cause far outweigh the benefits of the third set of molars, such as dental crowding or the development of cysts beneath the gums.
Causes of Wisdom Teeth Complications
When wisdom teeth do not grow in the mouth at the proper angle, there is a greater risk that they will be impacted, or remain stuck beneath the gums, and cause complications. A few of the common issues commonly caused by impacted wisdom teeth include the following:
- Dental crowding (impaction)
- Periodontal gum disease (infections)
- Damage to surrounding teeth and gums
- Cysts, tumors, and other unnecessary growths
Wisdom teeth can also be difficult to keep clean with regular oral hygiene habits, which can lead to some of the problems. The best way to avoid complications is by identifying wisdom teeth early, monitoring their growth, and removing them when necessary. Maintaining regular checkups allow the dentist to determine when to refer their patients to Dr. Lewis or Dr. Lloyd for a consultation and removal.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction Procedure
During the initial consultation, our surgeons will complete a thorough oral examination and X-ray evaluation of the wisdom teeth. 3D CT imaging allows our doctors to determine each tooth’s relationship with the rest of the healthy teeth in the mouth and develop the most efficient plan for removal. We will also review all options for anesthesia during the procedure, including IV sedation which allows our patients to rest comfortably while we complete the treatment. Drs. Lewis and Lloyd maintain the highest licensure available to dental providers to administer outpatient anesthesia and monitor patients during surgery at both our of offices in Monterey, CA, and Salinas, CA.
The length of the surgery will depend on the number of wisdom teeth requiring removal, their size, and their current position in the mouth. After administering the agreed upon anesthesia, we will carefully remove all teeth and suture the surgical areas. Patients undergoing IV anesthesia should have a responsible adult drive them to and from the office and monitor them until the anesthesia has completely worn off. We will also provide specific care instructions to follow before and after the surgery for safety during the surgery and an optimal recovery.
Removing Wisdom Teeth in Monterey, CA
Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons are highly trained in the extraction of wisdom teeth and Drs. Lewis and Lloyd work with patients from all over Monterey County. If your general dentist has told you that you should have your wisdom teeth evaluated for removal or you are experiencing pain around your wisdom teeth, we encourage you to contact our office for a consultation. We look forward to caring for you and your family at MOSA Oral Maxillofacial & Dental Implant Surgery.