Extraction of Wisdom Teeth
Each tooth in the mouth has a specific name and most teeth have a specific function. The front teeth (incisors, canine and bicuspid teeth) are used to grasp food while the back teeth, or molar teeth, are used to grind food.
The average adult has 16 teeth on the top jaw and 16 teeth on the bottom jaw for a total of 32 teeth. However, the average mouth is designed to fit only 28 teeth. It can be painful when 32 teeth try to fit in a mouth that should really only hold 28 teeth. The four additional teeth, which are the last teeth in the back of the jaw, are your Third Molars, commonly known as “wisdom teeth.” Your Third Molars are often non-functional teeth and therefore, in many cases, it is necessary for patients to undergo extraction of wisdom teeth.
When is the removal of wisdom teeth indicated?
When wisdom teeth erupt into the mouth and align properly within the arch, the removal of wisdom teeth is unnecessary. Unfortunately, this does not often occur. The removing of wisdom teeth is necessary when they do not properly erupt within the mouth. They can grow in various orientations, may partially emerge from the gum, or may remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impacted teeth can take many awkward positions in the bone as they attempt to erupt into the mouth.
Poorly positioned or impacted wisdom teeth can cause many problems. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the tooth allows bacteria to grow around the tooth, which can cause an infection. Moreover, the pressure from erupting wisdom teeth can cause shifting of your erupted teeth, eventually disrupting the natural alignment of your smile.
Cysts or tumors may also form around impacted wisdom teeth, causing destruction of the adjacent jaw bone and teeth. Extraction of wisdom teeth when impacted usually resolves these problems. Early removal of wisdom teeth is recommended to avoid future problems and to decrease risks associated with the surgery.
For more information about the extraction of wisdom teeth, please feel free to contact us at (212) 988-6725 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Cohen.