Get Your Wisdom Teeth Removed with NYC Oral Surgeon Dr. Elliott Ostro
Wisdom teeth are technically known as 3rd molars. Third molars usually begin forming around 8-10 years of age. Most people will develop 4 third molars, however, some people may develop less. Wisdom teeth, if present, may not erupt into the mouth. When they do not erupt they are considered impacted. Wisdom teeth which are not impacted typically erupt between 17-21 years old. Often the process of tooth eruption is painful and has associated complications, therefore, we recommend a consultation with your Midtown Manhattan oral surgeon Dr. Elliott Ostro at 15-17 years old prior to eruption. A consultation at this age is important as most will not have adequate space in their jaw for eruption of their wisdom teeth.
Are wisdom teeth required for normal chewing function? No, in fact if a person does have adequate space for the eruption of wisdom teeth these teeth only provide very limited chewing function. Furthermore, wisdom teeth often have short roots and can not adequately support bridges or partials. Wisdom teeth are considered vestigial organs, considered to be an imperfectly formed organ that has little to no utility.
Though most people do not experience pain with their wisdom teeth, that does not mean complications won’t arise. Most problems with wisdom teeth progress slowly and by the time a problem does become evident, damage may have already occurred. Below are some listed problems and concerns about your wisdom teeth, some of which are more common than others. Remember, each person is different, therefore your individual situation can only be determined through a thorough oral examination and evaluation with Midtown Manhattan oral surgeon Dr. Elliott Ostro.
Why Do I Need My Wisdom Teeth Surgically Removed?
Pain – Of the problems wisdom teeth cause, the most common complaint associated with impacted wisdom teeth is pain. A person may have soreness or pain in the back part of the jaw, ear ache, sore throat or pain in the side of the face. The impacted wisdom tooth itself may be the source of the pain or there may be an associated infection.
Impacted – It often happens that there is not enough space in the mouth for wisdom teeth to erupt. In such cases they may try to erupt in an abnormal direction, or may be locked into the jaw. This is known as an impaction. Impacted teeth remain buried in soft tissue or bone. Impactions may occur in the upper/lower jaw or both. See below for Types Of Impactions.
Decay – The same types of bacteria that are responsible for infections can also cause tooth decay or cavities in the impacted wisdom tooth and/or the root of the adjacent tooth. A wisdom tooth may decay unnoticed, as they are the most difficult teeth to keep clean, being so far back into the mouth.
Crowding – Impacted or erupting wisdom teeth can push on adjacent teeth causing movement (particulary front teeth). Current information shows that wisdom teeth do not alone cause teeth to become crowded and crooked, but they certainly can exacerbate existing crowding. Constant pressure from the impacted wisdom tooth can also lead to destruction of the tooth next to it, this occurs because impacted wisdom teeth are often malpositioned. If they adjacent tooth has decay of the root system it can not be saved.
Interfere With Bite – If wisdom teeth erupt into the mouth, their position frequently interferes with the harmonious movement of teeth. Over decades this destructive impact affects the wisdom tooth itself, but more importantly it puts stress and strain on the jaw joints and muscles of the jaw. This bite discrepancy can lead to headaches, muscle spasms and jaw joint problems.
What Happens During a Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
The relative ease at which your local oral surgeon in Midtown Manhattan can extract your wisdom teeth depends on the position of the impacted teeth. A pre-extraction examination at our dental offices on Central Park South will give us a better idea of what you should expect during extraction. A wisdom tooth that is fully erupted through the gum can be extracted as easily as any other tooth. However, a wisdom tooth that is underneath the gums and embedded in the jawbone, requires an incision into the gums and then removal of the portion of bone that lies over the tooth. Oftentimes, the tooth will be extracted in small sections rather than removed in one piece to minimize the amount of bone that needs to be removed to get the tooth out.
If you are experiencing any gum pain or crowding in your mouth, we invite you to visit our Midtown Manhattan oral surgery offices for a consultation to see if wisdom teeth extraction is your next step. Call us at (646) 862-7077.