Wisdom Tooth Removal Oral Surgery in St. Louis.
Your dentist or oral surgeon may advise removing the wisdom teeth before they are fully developed, even if you are not experiencing any symptoms. Removal of wisdom teeth in younger patients is usually easier because the roots have not yet fully developed and the bone is less dense. As patients age, the risks for this procedure can increase, and anticipated healing time can be extended.
Benefits of Early Removal
In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed using general anesthesia. Once the teeth are removed, the gum tissue is sutured, if necessary. To help control bleeding, gauze will be placed on the extraction sites. Your comfort and recovery will be monitored in our office until you are released to be taken home. Our assistants will review post-operative care instructions and allow you and your family to ask questions. Upon discharge, your post-operative kit will include extra gauze, written post-operative instructions, and prescriptions for pain medication and possibly antibiotics. Phone numbers to both office locations, including an after-hours exchange phone number, will be included on the post-operative instruction sheet as well. This exchange number allows you to contact the oral surgeon on call during evenings and weekends.
Our services are provided in an environment of optimal safety. We rely on state-of-the-art monitoring equipment during procedures, and our sterilization equipment is continuously monitored and tested regularly.
Third Molars & Wisdom Teeth
Very often the jaw area is too small to accommodate a fully developed set of wisdom teeth. This means that they often become impacted (unable to fully erupt).
Types of Impactions:
- Soft Tissue Impaction
- Partial Bony Impaction
- Complete Bony Impaction
Pressure from the erupting wisdom teeth may move other teeth and disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment of teeth. When they partially erupt, the opening around the teeth allows bacteria to grow and set up the likelihood of infection. The most serious problems occur when tumors or cysts develop around the impacted wisdom teeth, causing harm to the jawbone or adjacent healthy teeth. Even if wisdom teeth have fully erupted, they are often hard to reach and clean properly. This can lead to tooth decay and other problems.
Impacted Tooth Infections
The most frequent clinical problem we see is pericoronitis, (a localized gum infection). Without enough room for total eruption, the gum tissue around the wisdom tooth can become irritated and infected, resulting in recurrent pain, swelling, and problems with chewing and/or swallowing.
Impacted Tooth Cyst Formation
Non-infectious diseases may also arise in association with an impacted wisdom tooth. Cysts are fluid-filled “balloons” inside the jaw bone that develop as a result of impacted teeth and slowly expand destroying adjacent jaw bone and occasionally teeth. They can be very difficult to treat if your wisdom teeth are not removed in your teenage years. Although rare, tumors can be associated with the delayed removal of wisdom teeth.
Impacted wisdom teeth may contribute to crowding of your teeth. This is most noticeable with the front teeth, primarily the lower front teeth and is most commonly seen after a patient has had braces. There are a number of factors that cause teeth to crowd after braces or in early adulthood. Retained, impacted wisdom teeth may be a contributing factor. Unless you have an active problem when you see the oral surgeon, the reason for removal is primarily to prevent long-term damage to your teeth, gums and jaw bone.
Wisdom Teeth Cause Damage to Adjacent Teeth
If there is inadequate room to clean around the wisdom tooth, the tooth directly in front, the second molar, can be adversely affected resulting in gum disease, bone loss around the tooth, and/or decay.