Wisdom teeth removal is a common outpatient procedure for relieving or preventing signs and symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth. Like most people, when your wisdom teeth develop, you may not have enough space in your mouth for them. So, after examining your x-rays, your dentist or one of our oral surgeons may recommend removing them. Early evaluation and treatment can help you avoid the risks that increase with time. But even if you have delayed a wisdom teeth exam, it is not too late. If you live in Norfolk, Virginia, Coastal Virginia Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery is a nearby practice for evaluating and removing wisdom teeth that increase your oral health risks.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are third molars, the last permanent teeth to emerge. Healthy wisdom teeth erupt between ages 17 and 25. Sometimes, wisdom teeth appear without complications, but they erupt partially—or not at all—for most people. An oral surgeon can examine your x-rays to see the location of your wisdom teeth and determine their long-term effect on your oral health.
At What Age Should You Get Wisdom Teeth Removed?
It is best to remove wisdom teeth while a teenager or young adult to reduce complications and promote a faster recovery. Early treatment is more straightforward for these reasons:
- Tooth roots are shorter because they have not formed completely.
- The surrounding bone is softer.
- The risk of affecting nerves or other structures is lower.
What Are the Benefits of Removing Wisdom Teeth?
Regardless of age, if your wisdom teeth are not healthy, fully emerged, and symptom-free, an x-ray and examination will determine their location and condition. Even if they are pain-free, removing fully or partially impacted wisdom teeth benefits patients in these ways:
- Relieves or prevents pain – Inflammation around impacted wisdom teeth can become painful. And the pain can refer to other teeth or your jaw or cause headaches.
- Prevents jawbone cysts – A fluid-filled sac can form around an impacted tooth, weaken the jawbone, and damage other teeth or nerves.
- Stops or prevents decay – It is challenging to brush and floss around partially impacted wisdom teeth. Cavities in the teeth are difficult to reach and treat and often spread to other teeth.
- Reduces gum disease risk – A partially erupted wisdom tooth has a portion of gum tissue covering it. Bacteria trapped beneath the gums can lead to gum disease, infect other teeth, and spread to your jawbone.
- Prevents tooth misalignment – Angled wisdom teeth can lean on nearby teeth, causing crowding or misalignment that may require orthodontic treatment.
Meet Your Doctors
Patients trust in Dr. Beale, Dr. Yeh, and Dr. Quigg because of their consistent care and unique interest in their oral health. This friendly, yet professional attitude is reflected throughout all aspects of Coastal Virginia Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.
What Is the Timeline for Wisdom Teeth Removal?
The timeline for wisdom teeth removal includes the following phases:
- Evaluation – One of our oral surgeons will complete an oral examination and take a 3-D x-ray of your jaw to see the position and location of your wisdom teeth. The surgeon will recommend removal and develop a treatment plan if the x-ray and your teeth show signs of current or future issues.
- Pre-surgery instructions – Removing impacted wisdom teeth is a complex procedure. Before your surgery date, we will give you pre-operative instructions to follow carefully and minimize discomfort and complications.
- Procedure – Your procedure may be simple if your teeth have fully emerged above the gumline or complex if they are impacted. One of our surgeons will apply a local anesthetic to your gums and use sedation to keep you comfortable throughout the procedure.
- Recovery – You will need to restrict your activities after returning home from your procedure. We will give you post-surgery instructions for managing discomfort, supporting the healing process, and having a smooth recovery. A follow-up appointment for examining the surgical sites will ensure they are healing well.
Feel at Ease with a Wisdom Teeth Removal Consultation
Coastal Virginia Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery has three locations a short drive from Norfolk, Virginia. If you are interested in wisdom teeth removal or an evaluation, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with us.
You will meet with one of our oral surgeons whose expertise, thorough explanations, and compassionate care will help you feel comfortable and at ease. Request a consultation today.