Wisdom teeth are often referred to as the third molar. They are historically called wisdom teeth because they appear later in life – later than when the other teeth develop, and when young adults are presumably “wiser” than they were as a child. Your Smile Reef pediatric dentist will perform an initial evaluation of the wisdom teeth as early as age 16. All too often many mouths are too small for an additional four molars and tooth extraction is recommended.

When Should Wisdom Teeth be Removed?

Smile Reef Pediatric Dentistry has provided a list of signs and symptoms that may indicate that the wisdom teeth are about to erupt or have already erupted; these symptoms include pain, infection, facial swelling and swelling of the gum line in the back of the mouth. To determine if the adjacent teeth have been damaged an x-ray may be performed of the tooth and an antibiotic administered to the patient to reduce infection.

What is Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

Tooth extraction refers to the painless removal of a tooth or the roots of a tooth with minimal disruption and trauma to the surrounding tissues which also helps to insure the socket wound heals quickly and completely without post-operative complications.

Impacted Wisdom Tooth Extraction

More and more dentists believe it is better to remove wisdom teeth before they have erupted and even before the roots are fully formed, when the patient is younger and will recover faster from surgery. Your Smile Reef Pediatric Dentist may recommend removing your child’s wisdom teeth before the teeth begin causing problems and become more firmly rooted in the jaw. It is common for wisdom teeth to be completely impacted. This means that the teeth have not erupted through the gum into the mouth. If the wisdom teeth are causing pain and other complications, most dentists and oral health specialists will recommend immediate removal. An impacted wisdom tooth can cause many problems including bacteria and plaque buildup, cyst development, tumor development, infection, jaw and gum disease and decay of the tooth adjacent to the wisdom tooth.

What do Dentist’s do when they Take your Wisdom Teeth Out

Your Smile Reef Pediatric Dentist will explain what is involved in the extraction procedure. Wisdom tooth extraction surgery involves making an incision through the gum tissue over the tooth. The connective tissue between the tooth and the bone is gently detached. After the tooth is removed, the opening in the gum may be sutured. Sometimes the wisdom tooth may need to be cut into sections to remove it. Most wisdom teeth extractions can be performed in the Smile Reef Dental Office using the best method of anesthesia for your child.

The decision to remove wisdom teeth isn’t always an easy one. Talk to your Smile Reef Dental Pedodontist about the position and health of your child’s wisdom teeth.