Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last permanent molars to develop and erupt in the mouth. Most often there is not enough room for the wisdom teeth to erupt into their proper position, and complications like impaction, infection, and misalignment of surrounding teeth can occur. In most cases, we remove the wisdom teeth to prevent these complications before they develop.  Typically it is recommended the wisdom teeth be removed when a patient is in their mid-to-late teens. 

Having your wisdom teeth extracted is a common procedure. At Doctor Scott Clayhold, Dr. Clayhold encourages patients to have their oral surgeon monitor the development of their wisdom teeth early so that together, we can determine the best time to remove them.

Do I need to have my wisdom teeth extracted?

Most people do not have enough room for their wisdom teeth to erupt and function normally, and since the complications related to leaving them in place can be worse than extracting them, the scientific consensus and recommendation of the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons is preventive removal. Most people have all four wisdom teeth but having more or fewer than four is also common.

Causes of Wisdom Teeth Complications

Wisdom teeth impaction is one of the most common complications. When a wisdom tooth is impacted, that means that it can’t grow or come into its proper position because there either isn’t enough room, or it’s stuck underneath the gum. 

Other common issues due to impacted wisdom teeth include:

•    Teeth crowding
•    Periodontal gum disease
•    Damage to surrounding teeth and gums
•    Cysts, tumors, and other growths

Most doctors monitor the growth of wisdom teeth for several years through x-rays and exams to check for potential issues as the patient ages. This ensures that if they need to be removed, they can be extracted before any major complications arise. Maintaining regular checkups with your doctor allows your doctor to regularly check for problems and determine when to refer you to us for a consultation about removing your wisdom teeth. 

The Procedure

After an initial consultation, Dr. Clayhold will determine the best treatment plan for you and discuss your options. At the consultation, he will also discuss your anesthesia options, including IV sedation. Your consultation is the ideal time to ask any questions you may have about your upcoming procedure.

After the anesthesia is administered, Dr. Clayhold will make an incision through the gums, remove the wisdom teeth, and gently suture the surgical areas. The number of wisdom teeth, their size, and current position in the mouth will determine how long the surgery takes. 

Patients who wish to have IV sedation must have a responsible adult drive them to and from their procedure and monitor them until the effects of the anesthesia have worn off completely. Our staff will provide specific Pre-Operative and Post-Operative Instructions for you to follow. It is important that you follow these instructions before the surgery for your safety and after the surgery for a quick and ideal recovery.