Wisdom Teeth

By the age of 18, the average adult has 32 teeth; 16 teeth on the top and 16 teeth on the bottom.  Each tooth in the mouth has a specific name and function.  The teeth in the front of the mouth (incisors, canine, and bicuspid teeth) are ideal for grasping and biting food into smaller pieces. The back teeth (molar teeth) are used to grind food up into a consistency suitable for swallowing. 

The average mouth is made to hold only 28 teeth.  It can be painful when 32 teeth try to fit in a mouth that holds only 28 teeth.  These four other teeth are your third molars, also known as “wisdom teeth.”

Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth.  When they align properly and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed.  Unfortunately, this does not generally happen.  The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth.  They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum, and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone.  Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as the attempt to find a pathway that will allow them to successfully erupt.

These poorly positioned impacted teeth can cause many problems.  When they are partially erupted, the opening around the teeth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The result: swelling, stiffness, pain, and illness.  Wisdom teeth can also prevent the adjacent teeth from erupting normally.  The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts from around the offending impacted teeth usually resolves these problems.  Early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.


At the initial consultation appointment, your options for anesthesia will be discussed.  Dr. Allen will discuss with you the potential risks of the surgery, including sensory nerve damage and sinus complications.

All outpatient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort.  After the surgery is completed, gauze will be placed over the extraction sites and you be instructed to bite down to control bleeding.  There might be sutures place at the gums-if so, these dissolve on their own. If you have any questions contact us.