Wisdom teeth emerge much later than the rest of the adult teeth, and they can be difficult to detect without regular dental examinations and X-ray imaging at our office in Houston, TX. Many teens and adults may be unaware that they have an extra set of molars growing under the surface of their gums. This third set of molars, better known as wisdom teeth, can cause problems if they go untreated. Wisdom teeth often can’t be detected without regular dental exams or until they become a problem.
When wisdom teeth grow in beneath the surface of the gums, the mouth must be x-rayed to determine if they are present. Sometimes, the teeth will partially emerge from the gums but not grow in completely.
While these teeth can increase chewing power, they usually don’t grow in without causing problems. Many people don’t have enough room in their dental arches for wisdom teeth to grow in. Instead, the extra molars can cause crowding, infections, or damage in the area around your other teeth. Our oral surgeon performs wisdom teeth removals to prevent this issues at our office in Houston, TX.
Why should I get my wisdom teeth removed?
Patients with wisdom teeth are more susceptible to other oral problems, including
- Infection of surrounding tissue from partially exposed wisdom teeth, swelling, stiffness, tenderness, pain, and even bad breath
- Decay of partially exposed wisdom teeth and/or decay of the adjacent second molar
- Increased risk of tumor growth and cyst development, which can cause issues in healthy teeth and bone tissue
- Bacterial growth and gum disease
- Shifting of healthy teeth as the wisdom teeth push the second molars forward and cause dental crowding
At Oral & Facial Surgery Institute of Houston, we recommend that the wisdom teeth be removed early, preferably during the mid- to late teens, even if they haven’t begun to emerge from the gums yet. Since the roots of these teeth have not fully developed, removing them is usually easier at early stages. Younger patients are also more likely to recover quickly after surgery, making early removal even more ideal.
Before your wisdom teeth removal, you will have a thorough oral exam. You may also receive routine X-rays and 3D scanning, if necessary, to determine the position and size of your teeth. Dr. Johnson is trained and experienced at administering outpatient anesthesia, and our office in Houston, TX, offers multiple anesthetic options, including
- Local Anesthesia: applied directly to the area of removal
- Nitrous Oxide: also known as laughing gas, used in congruence with other anesthetic options to calm anxiety during the procedure
- Deep Sedation/General Anesthesia: administered through an intravenous (IV) line that suppresses your consciousness
Our skilled surgeon and trained office staff will answer any questions you may have before your procedure to make sure you are fully informed. They can also help you choose the method of anesthesia that is best for you.
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