Wisdom Teeth

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth, also know as third molars, are the last set of teeth that we get. Typically, our wisdom teeth erupt in our mouths between 17-25 years old. For some people, the wisdom teeth come in straight and go mostly unnoticed. For others, the wisdom teeth are misaligned or “impacted,” and necessitate surgical removal. In many cases, even wisdom teeth that are coming in “normally” may need to be removed, depending on your individual circumstances.

When wisdom teeth erupt into their proper position, they may be fine and cause few problems- they can sometimes even be treated as the other teeth. However, since they are the furthest back in the corners of the mouth, they often become problematic with time. Wisdom teeth are susceptible to decay, periodontal disease, and other forms of oral pathology, including cysts or tumors.

Dr. Bowen recommends that most patients have their wisdom teeth removed. If you are considering having your wisdom teeth removed, call us to schedule your consultation. During your consultation, we will take a panoramic x-ray that gives a 360-degree picture of your wisdom teeth. Dr. Bowen will assess the location of the wisdom teeth, development, your health history, and any other information related to your surgery. If your wisdom teeth are impacted or may cause future problems, it will be recommended that you have them extracted.

The day of your wisdom teeth surgery, you will have intravenous (IV) sedation, which Dr. Bowen performs at our office. You can’t eat 8 hours prior to your procedure, and can drink clear liquids (water, juice) up until 2 hours prior. You will need someone to drive you to and from the office, as you won’t be able to operate a vehicle for 24 hours following your procedure. You will be tired following your appointment, and need to have a responsible adult around to keep an eye on you.

During your sedation, you may or may not fall asleep, but you will be comfortable. Most patients do not remember their appointment, due to the amnesia caused by the IV sedation drugs. We also use other IV drugs that help with pain and swelling following your appointment.

Like our other dental procedures, Dr. Bowen or one of our hygienists will use topical (numbing gel) and local anesthetic to numb your gums and teeth. During the procedure, a small incision is made around the wisdom tooth. Frequently, because of the position of the wisdom tooth, it is split into multiple pieces to facilitate removal. The sites are then rinsed using chlorhexidine (a prescription strength anti-bacterial mouth rinse), and then sutured using dissolvable stitches. The stitches typically dissolve within 5-7 days following your appointment.

We place a healing ointment over your extraction sites, and have you bite firmly on gauze following your appointment to ensure that the incision and extraction sites close properly. We will send you home with the healing ointment, which you may place over your incisions anytime you feel pain. That, coupled with your prescriptions will be adequate to control your discomfort for the first few days following your wisdom teeth removal.

For additional questions or to schedule your appointment, call us, your dentist in Orem, Utah at (801) 224-6051.