Third molars, commonly referred to as wisdom teeth, are usually the last four of 32 teeth to develop in the mouth, generally making their appearance between the ages of 17 to 25. They are located at the back of the mouth (top and bottom). The term “wisdom” stems from the idea that the molars surface at a time typically associated with increased maturity or “wisdom”.
In most cases, inadequate space in the mouth does not allow the wisdom teeth to erupt properly and become fully functional. When this happens, the tooth can become impacted (stuck) in an undesirable or potentially harmful position. If left untreated, impacted wisdom teeth can contribute to infection, damage to other teeth, periodontal disease, and bone loss. The best method to treat or prevent the problems is removal of the wisdom teeth.
When referred to our office by your dentist or orthodontist, Dr. Murphy will conduct an initial consultation. At that consultation he will perform a complete oral examination and review the x-ray imaging. Dr. Murphy will assess each wisdom tooth individually and advise you as to whether or not removal is recommended and why. He will describe the surgery to you and assist you in choosing the right anesthesia option for you.
Most wisdom teeth removals are performed under IV sedation/anesthesia. The patient may not eat or drink anything 8 hours prior to the surgery except medications authorized by Dr. Murphy and are to be taken with a small sip of water. A responsible adult will need to drive the patient to the appointment, stay at the office during the procedure, and drive the patient home.