Wisdom Teeth

The average adult has 32 teeth by age 18; 16 teeth in the upper jaw and 16 teeth in the lower jaw. Each tooth in the mouth has a specific name and function. The teeth in the front of the mouth (incisors, canine and bicuspid teeth) are ideal for grasping and biting food into smaller pieces. The back molar teeth, are used to grind food up into a consistency suitable for swallowing.

However, the average mouth has sufficient space to hold only 28 teeth. It can be extremely painful when 32 teeth try to fit in a mouth that holds only 28 teeth. These four other teeth are your Third Molars, also known as Wisdom Teeth. Wisdom Teeth are normally the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. When there is adequate space, they align properly and the gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not generally happen.

For more information about Wisdom Teeth issues or to schedule a consult with Dr. Tidwell and Dr. Kutcipal, please use our Contact Us form below or call our office: Seattle Office Phone Number 206-783-9672. Read Patient Reviews below.

Why Remove Wisdom Teeth?

The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when those teeth are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum, or even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as they attempt to find a pathway that will allow them to erupt successfully.

These poorly positioned, impacted teeth may cause many problems. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the tooth allows bacteria to grow and food debris to become trapped eventually causing inflammation and infection. The result is swelling, jaw stiffness, pain and illness. The pressure from the erupting wisdom tooth may cause pain in the general area. Another serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom tooth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Removal of the offending impacted tooth or teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended to avoid such problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the removal of wisdom teeth.

With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, our doctors will evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and determine if there may be future or present problems. Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment result in a superior outcome for the patient. Patients are generally first evaluated in the mid-teenage years by their dentist, orthodontist or by your doctor.

All surgery is performed with appropriate anesthesia. Drs. Tidwell and Kutcipal have training, license and experience to provide various types of anesthesia to allow procedures to be completed comfortably. These services are provided in an environment of optimum safety, utilizing modern monitoring equipment and staff experienced in anesthesia and surgical techniques.

Patient Reviews: Wisdom Teeth Removal

This reviews section is in progress. Please visit the Patient Review form to leave a review about your Wisdom Teeth experience with Ballard Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. Call our office if you would like more information: Seattle Office Phone Number 206-783-9672.

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