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xray showing impacted wisdom teeth

Wisdom Teeth Removal
Boston, MA

Wisdom teeth (also known as third molars) are the last teeth to develop and erupt into the mouth, usually between the ages of 16 and 24.  Wisdom teeth frequently require management because most people do not have adequate space in the oral cavity to accommodate these teeth.  

When a tooth doesn’t fully erupt into the mouth, it is considered impacted.  The tooth becomes unable to break completely through the gums, because there isn’t enough room. In some cases, a cyst or tumor can form around an impacted tooth, which can lead to more serious problems, including damage to adjacent teeth or other surrounding structures.

But even Wisdom teeth that have “grown in,” most always erupt incompletely and/or are mispositioned and very difficult to keep clean.  Because hygiene is impaired in this area of the mouth, a wisdom tooth is more vulnerable to cavities and gum disease that can also infect neighboring teeth.

Ultimately, both impacted and non-impacted wisdom teeth can damage adjacent teeth and lead to chronic oral disease.

As oral surgeons, we are the experts in wisdom tooth management.  Even if no symptoms are present, we encourage you to minimize potential health risks by seeking a consultation with us at our Boston office.  The absence of symptoms does not necessarily equate to an absence of disease, and third molar treatment often becomes more complicated as we age. Earlier and sooner is best when it comes to talking to us about your wisdom teeth.  

Please contact our office to discuss your treatment options with Dr. Lucca and our Boston oral & facial surgeons. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Wisdom Tooth Removal

Is wisdom teeth removal necessary?
In most cases, wisdom teeth cause dental and oral health problems. More often than not, it is necessary to remove wisdom teeth. Absence of symptoms does not equate to absence of disease or susceptibility to disease. Early intervention for wisdom tooth surgery leads to better outcomes.
What age is best for wisdom teeth removal?
The wisdom teeth typically form beneath the gums between the ages of 7-10, however they do not mature until later. Third molars most often erupt between the ages of 17 and 21, which is usually the ideal age range to have them evaluated and removed for most patients.
Why don’t I need my wisdom teeth?
As evolved humans we no longer need wisdom teeth to effectively chew food. The 6 and 12 year molars are sufficient for chewing and the third molars are no longer necessary. Our jaws have even evolved to be smaller and have less room for them.
What type of anesthesia is required for wisdom teeth removal?
In cases where wisdom teeth have come in through the gums, they can often be removed with just local anesthesia. But when they are impacted, or stuck below the gums, the procedure will be more invasive and may require sedation.
How long does wisdom teeth removal take?
The procedure may take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes. The length of the procedure depends on the level of difficulty to remove the teeth.
What can I expect for recovery from wisdom teeth removal?
You should plan to rest at home for the remainder of the day after your wisdom teeth removal procedure. You may need to bite down on gauze pads for the first few hours to control bleeding. Over the counter pain medication and Ice can help to manage any discomfort you may experience after the anesthesia wears off.
What can I eat after I have my wisdom teeth removed?
A liquid diet is recommended for the first few hours following your procedure, but avoid drinking from a straw. You can eat soft foods when you feel up to it. Avoid acidic or spicy foods that may irritate your mouth. Allow warm foods to cool sufficiently before eating.
Can I go back to school or work the next day?
It may depend on how you feel, but in most cases we recommend taking 1-3 days to rest and recuperate before resuming your regular daily activities. You may want to wait a few days to a week before resuming sports activities or vigorous exercise.
What happens if I don’t have my wisdom teeth removed?
If your wisdom teeth come in at the wrong angle or fail to come in at all, it can cause a number of dental problems. Impacted wisdom teeth are susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay. These processes can extend to neighboring teeth and infection may result, spreading to other areas of the mouth and face.
Call 617-300-0345 to schedule an appointment.

Contact our office today to schedule your appointment!

185 Dartmouth St, Suite 403 Boston, MA 02116
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