Sooner or later, most of us must deal with the emergence of our wisdom teeth. Also known as third molars, wisdom teeth are typically the last teeth to develop. They are located at the back of the mouth and usually emerge sometime in the late teens or early twenties.

The problem is that there is usually insufficient space for wisdom teeth to fully erupt and develop, which means they can remain impacted (submerged under the gums), causing pain and pressure, or else lead to misalignment of the surrounding teeth. As such, it is usually best to simply have wisdom teeth extracted.

To learn more about wisdom teeth extraction in Fairhope, AL, we invite you to make an appointment with Minto Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.


Why is it Necessary to Remove Wisdom Teeth

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Some lucky people are born without wisdom teeth, and some may go through life never experiencing any problems from their third molars. These cases are the exceptions that prove the rule: More often than not, wisdom teeth lead to problems that can only be addressed by having the wisdom teeth removed.

When wisdom teeth remain impacted, erupting just partially or not at all, they can cause a number of symptoms, including:

● Significant pain
● Trapped food and bacterial particles, leading to infection or periodontal disease
● Damage to the nearby teeth or the surrounding bone
● Development of fluid-filled sacs surrounding the wisdom teeth

If you experience any of these symptoms toward the back of your mouth, that could be a sign that you have wisdom teeth that are ready to be removed.

Preventing Future Dental Problems

Something else to consider is that wisdom teeth that are left in place may lead to further dental complications down the road. Even if you have wisdom teeth that are asymptomatic, you may wish to have them removed to avoid future complications, including crowding or misalignment of the surrounding teeth.

Why Do We Even Have Wisdom Teeth?

One of the most common questions we hear about wisdom teeth: why do we have these third molars if all they do is cause problems?

Many researchers have speculated that wisdom teeth reflect an earlier era of human evolution. Centuries ago, third molars were needed so that humans could tear into tough meat or raw vegetables. Today, changes to our diets, along with the development of knives and forks, have rendered these powerful teeth irrelevant. At the same time, the human jaw has shrunk. The problem is that, even with smaller jaws, most of us are still born with more teeth than we actually need.

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Meet Your Oral Surgeon

Are you looking for a friendly and compassionate oral surgeon to assist with your wisdom tooth extraction? Dr. David Minto is known for his gentle approach to patient care and for the ample time he spends answering each patient’s questions and concerns. He has roots in the Fairhope, AL area and is thrilled by the chance to now live and work there. Get to know Dr. Minto better by checking out his bio.


Wisdom Teeth Removal: The Process

For those who are anticipating the need for wisdom teeth extraction, it is only natural to feel a bit apprehensive. One thing that may help is to learn a little bit more about what the procedure entails.

Consultation

Most patients are referred to us by their regular dentist, who can tell from X-rays and other dental imagery that the wisdom teeth need to go. In other cases, patients may make an appointment because they are in pain and suspect their back molars are to blame. Regardless, the process always begins with a consultation, where a physical examination and further imaging will help determine the best course of treatment. This will also be a good time to ask any questions you may have about the process.

Preparing for Wisdom Tooth Extraction

At Minto Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, it is imperative to us that all of our patients have a positive and comfortable experience. In pursuit of this goal, we will talk with you about different sedation options that will ensure a pain-free procedure. Depending on your anxiety level, the number of wisdom teeth you are having removed, and how badly they are impacted, we may recommend either localized or IV sedation.

Removal

Once you are fully sedated, your oral surgeon will make a small incision, allowing access to the wisdom tooth. If there is any additional bone or tissue blocking access, this will be removed. Usually, the wisdom tooth is cut into smaller segments, making it easier to remove piece by piece. The area is then cleaned up before stitching and bandages are applied.

How Long Does Wisdom Tooth Extraction Take?

The timeline for wisdom teeth extraction may vary from one patient to the next, depending on the number of wisdom teeth, the complexity, and the type of sedation. Most of the time, a wisdom teeth extraction takes no more than 45 minutes to complete.

Will it Hurt?

Patients are naturally a little nervous at the thought of dental pain, but rest assured that comfort and safety are our top concerns. We will ensure the appropriate level of sedation to give you an easy and pain-free procedure. While you can anticipate some soreness following the procedure, this discomfort can easily be managed with pain medications.


Recovery from Wisdom Tooth Removal

Following your surgery, you can anticipate some pain and swelling. We would generally recommend taking one or two days to rest at home, allowing your body plenty of time to recuperate. After that, most patients feel prepared to return to school or work.

For the first day, stick with soft foods and liquids. Avoid hot or spicy foods, which may lead to inflammation. Over the course of the first week, you can gradually transition back to a normal diet as you feel comfortable.

If you have any additional questions or concerns about your recovery, feel free to contact Minto Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery directly. We would be glad to help.


Find Out More About Wisdom Tooth Removal

Whether you have questions about wisdom teeth removal, or you are ready to schedule your appointment, we welcome you to contact our practice. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Minto today by calling us at (251) 319-7710.