Wisdom teeth, sometimes known as third molars, are the last set of teeth to develop in the mouth. When they emerge, they are often misaligned or get trapped beneath the gum and bone. This is called impaction and creates a situation that often needs to be addressed surgically.
In addition to impaction, there are many other reasons to have wisdom teeth removed:
- Inflammation and infection.Due to a combination of limited space and partial impactions, wisdom teeth often lead to gum inflammation, which can lead to painful gum disease or other health hazards. Recent studies show that once inflammation sets in, it’s very difficult to alleviate it, and it easily spreads to surrounding areas. In addition, when a tooth is partially impacted, a separation between it and the gums creates a breeding ground for bacteria, which dramatically increases the risk of infection.
- When wisdom teeth erupt, they try to enter an already crowded area. With little room to move into, neighboring teeth are often pushed aside, resulting in misalignment. Whether your child’s beautiful smile is due to braces or genetics, wisdom teeth can undo a straight smile as well as completely unravel years of dental work.
- Damage to nearby teeth.While overcrowding is likely, wisdom teeth can do more to their neighbors than simply invade their space. In fact, they can damage the adjacent second molars by contributing to bone loss and cavities.
- Cysts or tumors.An impacted wisdom tooth can lead to tumors or cysts in the jawbone.
- TMJ Disorders. Wisdom teeth can also lead to TMJ pain that would require a variety of TMJ treatment options that you would rather avoid.
- Difficult to keep clean.If your child experiences no pain or obvious complications with the arrival of his or her wisdom teeth, his or her future dental hygiene may still be at risk. Space is at a minimum, and it can be difficult to properly brush and floss around a wisdom tooth. Limited space and their hard-to-reach location make these teeth prime targets for cavities and plaque buildup.
Wisdom Teeth Extraction Evaluation and Procedure
Dr. Cohen at Park Smiles NYC Pediatrics will first evaluate the position of your child’s emerging wisdom teeth and determine whether they need to be removed. If extraction is necessary, problem wisdom teeth can be removed by Dr. Cohen in the convenience of our office using local anesthesia, nitrous oxide, intravenous sedation, or general anesthesia. The procedure usually takes 30-60 minutes.
The relative ease at which Dr. Cohen can extract your child’s wisdom teeth depends on their position and stage of development. Dr. Cohen will be able to give you an idea of what to expect during your child’s pre-extraction exam.
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 will require an incision into the gums and then removal of the portion of bone that lies over the tooth. Often, for a tooth in this situation, 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.
Once the teeth have been extracted, the gums are sutured with dissolvable sutures and patients remain under the supervision of our trained staff until they are ready to go home. Patients will receive postoperative care instructions and a prescription for pain medication.
As with all of our treatments and procedures at Park Smiles NYC Pediatrics, we are always available to quickly address any concerns or issues that may arise following wisdom teeth extraction.
For the best of the best in Comprehensive Pediatric Dental Care in New York City, call Park Smiles NYC Pediatrics today at 212-988-6727. We look forward to serving you with an unsurpassed commitment to comfort, compassion and empathetic care!
Dr. Ruben Cohen
Park Smiles NYC Pediatrics
Announced in 2017 in New York Times Magazine as one of the top 20 oral surgeons and “Super Specialists” in New York City – selected by local medical experts!