Wisdom Teeth | Kokomo IN
Ready to schedule a consultation? Call us at Kokomo Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Phone Number 765-453-5444
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Dr. Thompson particularly emphasizes the extraction of impacted wisdom teeth with IV sedation anesthesia as a cornerstone in the specialty of oral and maxillofacial surgery. Our office is state of the art for your best comfort and experience in this procedure. We suggest that teenagers have their wisdom teeth removed if there is any indication that these teeth could become a problem later. We recommend removal of wisdom teeth before they become symptomatic, infected, or begin to cause damage to the adjacent teeth. In other words, even if your wisdom teeth are not bothering you, you should have them evaluated in your teenage years with a panoramic x-ray and a clinical consultation appointment. We utilize leading edge digital x-ray technology in our office to evaluate your wisdom teeth.
Third molars are commonly referred to as wisdom teeth. They are usually the last teeth to develop and are located in the back of your mouth, behind your second molars. Their development is usually completed between the middle teenage years and early twenties, a time traditionally associated with the onset of maturity and the attainment of wisdom.
What Is An Impacted Tooth?
Although most people develop and grow 32 permanent adult teeth, many times their jaws are too small to accommodate the four wisdom teeth. When inadequate space prevents the teeth from erupting they are called impacted. This indicates their inability to erupt into the proper position for chewing and cleaning.
Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
If you do not have enough room in your mouth for your third molars to fully erupt, a number of problems can happen. Impacted wisdom teeth should be removed before their root structure is fully developed. In some patients it is as early as 12 or 13, and in others it may not be until the late teenage years. Problems tend to occur with increasing frequency after the early twenties, and extraction of wisdom teeth is more prone to complications in patients who wait till that age. Wisdom tooth removal is much more routine with a smoother post extraction course if extraction is performed in teenage patients. Some of the possible problems that could occur if you do not have your wisdom teeth removed include:
The most frequent clinical problem we see is pericoronitis, (a localized gum infection). Without enough room for total eruption, the gum tissue around the wisdom tooth can become irritated and infected, resulting in recurrent pain, swelling, and problems with chewing and/or swallowing.
Non-infectious diseases may also arise in association with an impacted wisdom tooth. Cysts are fluid-filled “balloons” inside the jawbone that develop as a result of impacted teeth and slowly expand destroying adjacent jawbone and occasionally teeth. They can be very difficult to treat if your wisdom teeth are not removed in your teenage years. Although rare, tumors can be associated with the delayed removal of wisdom teeth.
Impacted wisdom teeth may contribute to crowding of your teeth. This is most noticeable with the front teeth, primarily the lower front teeth and is most commonly seen after a patient has had braces. There are a number of factors that cause teeth to crowd after braces or in early adulthood. Retained, impacted wisdom teeth may be a contributing factor. Unless you have an active problem when you see the oral surgeon, the reason for removal is primarily to prevent long-term damage to your teeth, gums and jawbone.
Damage to Adjacent Teeth:
If there is inadequate room to clean around the wisdom tooth, the tooth directly in front, the second molar, can be adversely affected resulting in gum disease, bone loss around the tooth, and/or decay.
What If I Don’t Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed As A Teenager Or Young Adult?
As wisdom teeth develop, the roots become longer and the jawbone more dense.When it is necessary to remove impacted wisdom teeth in your thirties, forties or beyond, the post-operative course can be prolonged and there is a higher complication rate. Treating these complications is often more difficult and less predictable than with a younger patient. Healing may be slower and the chance of infection can be increased. In general, you will heal faster, more predictably and have fewer complications if treated in your teens or early twenties.
What Happens On The Day They Are Removed?
Dr. Thompson uses IV sedation for patients when they have their wisdom teeth removed. Dr. Thompson will thoroughly discuss anesthesia to maximize your comfort with you at your consultation. Dr. Thompson and his surgical staff have the training, licensing, and experience to provide comfortable anesthesia just for you. These services are provided in an environment of optimum safety, utilizing state of the art monitoring equipment and a well trained experienced staff.
On the day of your procedure, you will take medications post operatively to help minimize post-operative discomfort and swelling. We ask that a parent or responsible adult accompanies you to the office and plans to stay with you to drive you home. The procedure will usually take about 45 to 60 minutes and you will probably be in the office for 90 minutes. Recent advances in medicine and technology allow patients to undergo wisdom tooth removal in a manner, which promotes rapid healing and minimal post-operative discomfort. Advanced sterilization and infection control techniques are used at all times.
If you are scheduled for IV sedation, it is essential that you have nothing at all to eat or drink, not even water, after midnight the night before your surgery. Having anything in your stomach can increase the risk for serious anesthetic complications. Your procedure will not be performed if you have not followed these guidelines. Local anesthesia is given to you after you have been given the IV sedation medications to enhance your comfort.
If your surgery requires stitches, these are the type that fall out in 3 to 7 days and do not require removal. You may also notice a sensation of your gums feeling swollen. This is all part of the normal recovery, and will subside in several days.
Once the local anesthesia wears off, you may decide to take your prescription medication for discomfort. We will recommend that you start right away with non-narcotic anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, and also acetaminophen on a regular schedule. You may decide to supplement these with your prescription medication. The local anesthesia may last most of the day. We recommend starting your post-operative diet with full liquids and soft foods such as jello, ice cream, pudding, mashed potatoes, yogurt, or applesauce.
What Happens Afterwards – What Will I Feel Like?
On the day of surgery, you may experience some minor bleeding and discomfort. Each individual’s reaction to surgery varies. A variable amount of swelling can be expected following the surgery. This swelling usually peaks on the second day and should begin resolving a few days later. You can limit the amount of swelling you will have by using ice for the entire first day. We like to recommend using a bag of frozen peas alternating on and off every half hour. The more ice you use the first day, the less swelling you are likely to have on the second day. Please remember to put ice on the first day even if it is somewhat uncomfortable to have the cold next to your skin. On the third day, you might notice that your jaw muscles are stiff, and it is difficult to open your mouth normally. Most of the time you will want to limit your activities on the day of surgery. We do not have any restrictions on working or going to school after that. We ask that you follow your post-operative instructions closely. Doing so will make you as comfortable as possible during the first few days following your procedure. Please allow time for your body to begin healing. Most patients feel like they are over the hump and on their way to recovery in 3 to 5 days. You will be sent home with postoperative instructions, a prescription as needed, and a follow-up appointment if indicated. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at Kokomo Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Phone Number 765-453-5444.
What Does The Procedure Cost And Is It Covered By Insurance?
The fee for your treatment is determined by a number of factors. These may include the position of your teeth and which type of anesthesia is best for you. During your consultation appointment, Dr. Thompson will need to review your x-rays, complete an examination and determine the best option for anesthesia, before an accurate estimate can be provided. Every insurance company has a different policy regarding the extent of coverage for a given surgical procedure. Dr. Thompson’s office staff will do their best to help you obtain maximum insurance coverage for your treatment.