Our Las Vegas, NV oral surgery center strives to offer a full scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery. Dr. Carlos Letelier is a board certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon who manages a wide variety of problems related to the mouth, teeth and facial regions including the extraction of wisdom teeth.
By the time a person reaches the age of eighteen, he or she has 32 teeth; 16 at the top and 16 on the bottom. However, the average mouth can only hold 28 teeth. It can be painful when 32 teeth are trying to fit in a mouth that holds only 28. The four teeth, which become a problem, are the third molars which are known as wisdom teeth.
Do I Need My Wisdom Teeth Extracted?
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to come in. When they are in proper alignment and the gums are healthy, they may not need to be extracted. However, this does not generally occur. You may need to have your wisdom teeth extracted if there is no room for them. These teeth can grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impacted wisdom teeth can be in many different positions in the bone as they try to find a pathway that allows them to erupt successfully.
Impacted wisdom teeth can lead to many problems. Bacteria can collect and grow around partially erupted wisdom teeth, causing infection. The result of this infection is swelling, pain and illness. And, other teeth can become misaligned due to impacted wisdom teeth. The most serious problem consists of tumors or cysts forming around an impacted wisdom tooth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Extraction of the offending impacted wisdom tooth or teeth can resolve this problem. Early removal of wisdom teeth is advisable because it ensures that future problems will not occur and it decreases the risk of needing surgery later to remove the tooth or teeth.
When is a Good Time to Have Wisdom Teeth Extracted?
Dentists often recommend removing the wisdom teeth before they emerge or grow too large, as doing so prevents impaction. Most dentists believe that it is best to remove these teeth when the patient is younger and more likely to recover quickly. This is why many teens or young adults have their wisdom teeth extracted before they cause problems and become firmly rooted in the jaw.
A good time for young people attending school to have their wisdom teeth removed is around the holidays or vacations. During holiday seasons most students are free from school, giving them time to have their wisdom teeth removed and plenty of time to heal following the procedure.
What to Expect
Most wisdom tooth extractions are performed in our Las Vegas NV oral surgery center under general anesthesia. Dr. Letelier will discuss the anesthetic option that is right for you.
Dependent upon the tooth position, degree of impaction and root development, the extent of the procedure will be determined by Dr. Letelier. Once you are anesthetized, an incision is made in the gum adjacent to the location of the wisdom tooth that is to be removed. The gum tissue over the impacted tooth is retracted and some bone may need to be removed around the tooth to free it and to aid in a non-traumatic extraction. Resorbable sutures may be put in place.
We will provide you with detailed instructions following the extraction. If you follow these instructions you should experience no trouble. If problems should arise such as excessive bleeding or pain, call us immediately for further instructions or additional treatment.