Wisdom Teeth Extractions
By the age of eighteen, the average adult has 32 teeth; 16 teeth on the top and 16 teeth on the bottom. 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 teeth or molar teeth are used to grind food up into a consistency suitable for swallowing.
The average mouth usually holds only 28 teeth. It can be painful when 32 teeth try to fit in a mouth that will hold only 28 teeth. These four other teeth are your Third Molars, also known as "wisdom teeth." To discuss having wisdom teeth extracted in the Conway, North Little Rock, and Central, AR area, please feel free to contact us to schedule an appointment.
Why Should I Remove My Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt (come in) within the mouth. When they align properly and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not generally happen. The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum and 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.
These poorly positioned impacted teeth can cause many problems. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the tooth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection and decay. The result: swelling, stiffness, pain and infection. The pressure from the erupting wisdom tooth may move other teeth and disrupt the orthodontic braces or natural alignment of teeth. The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom tooth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone or healthy teeth. Removal of the offending impacted tooth or teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended, when there is a lack of room for eruption, to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.
Wisdom Tooth Examination
With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, Drs. Elimon and Johnson can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there may be present or future problems (this may also be done by the family dentist). Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment result in a superior outcome for the patient. Patients are generally first evaluated in the early to mid- teenage years by their dentist, orthodontist or by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
Removal of Wisdom Teeth
If you have questions about wisdom teeth extraction, please call us at (501) 771-7600 for the North Little Rock Office or
(501) 327-5255 for the Conway office.
The removal of wisdom teeth may be performed under local anesthesia (numbing), laughing gas in combination with local anesthesia, or general anesthesia (I.V. sedation). These options as well as the surgical risks will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed. Once the teeth are removed, the gum may be sutured. To help control bleeding, bite down on the gauze. You will recover (wake-up) under our supervision in the office until you are ready to be taken home. Upon discharge, your post-operative kit may include after-care instructions, prescriptions, ice bags or ice wrap, and information about a follow-up appointment time if necessary.
Our services are provided in an environment of optimum safety that utilizes modern monitoring equipment and staff that are experienced in anesthesia techniques.
All outpatient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. Drs. Elimon and Johnson have the training, license and experience to provide the various types of anesthesia for optimum care.