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xray showing impacted wisdom teeth

Wisdom Teeth Removal
in 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.  

Many wisdom teeth require management due to the limited space available in the oral cavity to accommodate them. When a wisdom tooth fails to fully erupt into the mouth, it becomes impacted. This happens because there simply isn't enough room for the tooth to break completely through the gums. In some cases, an impacted tooth can even lead to the formation of a cyst or tumor, posing more serious problems such as damage to adjacent teeth or surrounding structures.

Even if wisdom teeth manage to 'grow in,' they often erupt incompletely or are mispositioned, making them challenging to maintain proper oral hygiene. The compromised hygiene in this area increases the vulnerability of wisdom teeth to cavities and gum disease, which can also spread to neighboring teeth. Therefore, both impacted and non-impacted wisdom teeth have the potential to damage adjacent teeth and contribute to long-term oral health issues.

It is important to address these concerns promptly. Your dentist may recommend the extraction of wisdom teeth that are impacted or pose a risk to oral health. Additionally, X-rays play a crucial role in determining whether abnormal positioning of the wisdom teeth exists, indicating the need for removal. Following the extraction procedure, the recovery time can vary, ranging from 2 to 10 days, depending on the complexity of the surgery and the level of swelling and discomfort experienced thereafter.

In summary, the limited space in the oral cavity, along with incomplete eruption and mispositioning, are common reasons why most wisdom teeth are pulled out. Whether impacted or not, wisdom teeth can cause harm to adjacent teeth and contribute to ongoing oral health problems. Therefore, it is essential to address these issues promptly to maintain optimal oral health.

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.
Is it possible for additional teeth to grow after wisdom teeth extraction?
After undergoing wisdom teeth extraction, many people wonder if it is possible for additional teeth to grow in their place. The answer to this question is no, as the extracted wisdom teeth do not grow back. However, it is worth noting that in some cases, there may already be additional wisdom teeth present in the jaw, which can eventually emerge after the extraction. Therefore, while new teeth do not grow after the removal of wisdom teeth, it is possible for additional existing teeth to become visible in the future.
What should someone do if they have an infected wisdom tooth?
If someone has an infected wisdom tooth, they should contact their dentist as soon as possible. Typically, they will be referred to an oral surgeon to have the infected tooth removed.
Are impacted wisdom teeth compromised?
Yes, impacted wisdom teeth can be compromised as they cannot fully enter the mouth due to lack of space. This can lead to various symptoms and potential complications.
How long is the recovery time after wisdom tooth removal?
The recovery time after wisdom tooth removal can vary from 2 to 10 days, depending on the difficulty of the surgery and the amount of swelling and pain experienced afterwards.
What are the other reasons for wisdom tooth removal?
Wisdom teeth may also be removed if they irritate parts of the mouth, cause other teeth to move out of position, or if X-rays show abnormal positioning of the third molars.
What are the symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth?
Impacted wisdom teeth can lead to symptoms such as stiffness or pain in the jaw, swelling, inflammation, and infection of gingival tissues, as well as sore or sensitive gums from partially erupted teeth.
Call 617-300-0345 to schedule an appointment.

Contact our office today to schedule your appointment!

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