Wisdom teeth, technically known as third molars, are the last four of 32 teeth to erupt in the mouth. The term ‘wisdom’ stems from the standard age at which they surface, generally between the ages of 17 and 25. Third molars are positioned at the back of the mouth, at both the top and bottom, near the entrance to the throat. When there is inadequate space in the mouth to accommodate for this growth, wisdom teeth can essentially become stuck – a process referred to as impaction. Not only can the teeth grow crookedly and become misaligned, but they can also become painful and cause damage to other teeth. If left untreated, impacted wisdom teeth can lead to infection and more severe health concerns such as cysts or tumors.

Dr. John Freeman is a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon with extensive experience performing wisdom teeth extraction. He has performed this procedure for patients of various ages, including adolescents and young adults. Wisdom teeth removal is a standard procedure that serves to relieve the pain associated with third molars that do not emerge fully or correctly. The surgery can help to prevent any further issues from developing and is often recommended to protect your future oral health.

Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

In some cases, wisdom teeth may not require removal. If the molars erupt fully, grow in healthy and are positioned to bite correctly with their opposing teeth, extraction may not be necessary. However, in many cases, the wisdom teeth do not have adequate space to grow, causing issues that only surgery can effectively address. Extractions are most often performed to manage an active concern such as pain, swelling, decay or infection, or to prevent serious issues from developing in the future. If more than one wisdom tooth becomes impacted, several harmful outcomes can occur, including:

Damage to nearby teeth – Impacted wisdom teeth can damage the second molars, which are directly in front of the wisdom teeth. This can cause tooth decay (cavities), periodontal disease (gum disease) and possible bone loss.

Infection – When left untreated, bacteria and food can become trapped under the gum tissue. The resulting infection can cause considerable pain and even more harm to your oral health.

Disease – Though disease is a rare consequence of impacted wisdom teeth, cysts and tumors can occur in the areas surrounding the affected tooth.

Tooth crowding – Another theory suggests that impacted wisdom teeth can put pressure on other teeth, causing them to become misaligned (twisted or crowded).

The Initial Examination

Drawing on a thorough surgical process, Dr. Freeman will initially conduct a detailed examination of your wisdom and surrounding teeth. Based on panoramic or digital x-rays, he will evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and determine if an issue currently exists, or whether problems are likely to develop in the future. When reviewed by a practiced professional, the x-rays can expose additional risk factors, such as deterioration or decay of nearby teeth. Early evaluation and treatment, typically in the mid-teen years, will help identify potential problems and optimize the results for patients requiring extraction. After a thorough assessment, Dr. Freeman will plan the surgery according to your needs and unique facial structure. He will walk you through each step of the procedure to ensure you feel comfortable and relaxed through all parts of the process.

What is Involved in Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Wisdom teeth extraction is usually performed under local anesthesia and intravenous (IV) sedation. It can also be completed under general anesthesia depending on the patient’s preference and surgical needs. The procedure does not require an overnight stay, so patients can generally return home immediately after treatment. Dr. Freeman will ensure that you are fully aware of all post-operative instructions, and he will provide any medication necessary to help manage swelling and discomfort.

Contact Dr. Freeman’s Clinic in Katy, TX, For Your Wisdom Teeth Extraction Consultation

As a highly qualified board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. John Freeman has helped countless patients achieve better oral health and function. His intricate understanding of facial anatomy and oral health makes him a top choice for patients in and beyond Houston, TX. Dr. Freeman can work with you to effectively resolve or prevent any pain, discomfort or further issues associated with impacted wisdom teeth. Early treatment often provides the best chance of avoiding damage and infection and can help safeguard your future dental health.

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Call 281-599-9445 today to schedule your in-person consultation with Dr. John P. Freeman and take a step closer to the comfort and smile you deserve!

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