Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that emerge, usually during your late teens to early twenties. For some people the wisdom teeth emerge through the gums and have enough room to grow in naturally. For others, wisdom teeth often cause problems as they are trying to protrude through the gums. When a wisdom tooth is impacted the tooth is coming in at an angle and not straight through the gum line. This can cause pain, the tooth can come in unevenly, or the tooth may only emerge partially.
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause structural damage to the jaw and other teeth. They can also provide a place for bacteria to gather since they are hard to reach and clean. These potential problems make it necessary to remove impacted wisdom teeth so that larger problems do not arise.
For our school age patients in need of wisdom teeth extractions, Dr. Pate recommends treatment during the summer months, spring breaks, and holidays. It is best to have all four wisdom teeth removed on one visit, therefore, the patient will need 2 to 3 days of rest. Do not wait until your wisdom teeth "hurt" before you make an appointment. Dr. Pate will evaluate your wisdom teeth x-rays during routine hygiene visits and advise you accordingly.