Wisdom Teeth Extractions in Denville, NJ by Cheryl L. Moccio, DMD
More commonly known as the wisdom teeth, the third molars are the last of the mouth's 32 teeth to erupt. Called wisdom teeth because they tend to surface during a time in life associated with becoming mature, the third molars generally come in between the ages of 17 and 25. These teeth are located at the far back of the mouth, near the opening of the throat. While wisdom teeth might have been associated with gaining maturity in folktales, most individuals do not have adequate space in their mouths to accommodate their wisdom teeth.
If these molars start to erupt and aren't removed, they can have detrimental effects on dental health and can cause a great deal of discomfort. Dr. Moccio is a Denville oral surgeon
who has extensive experience with wisdom teeth examinations and extractions. She will be happy to help you understand the third molars and how they impact your dental health, so you can set an appointment for wisdom teeth extraction right from her Denville office.
Why Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Most wisdom teeth extractions are performed because the teeth have begun to erupt or have become impacted and are causing other problems or symptoms. Common problems include pain, discomfort, swelling or infection of the gum surrounding the third molar. If impaction or eruption of wisdom teeth continues untreated, patients may face other dental health problems including:
• Damage to the second molars and other nearby teeth including tooth decay, an increased risk of periodontal disease and possible bone loss.
• Cysts and tumors in the area of the wisdom teeth, although these are rare.
• Infection from trapped food and bacteria that makes its way under the gums and can lead to swelling, pain and serious health problems.
• Potential tooth crowding or the shifting and twisting of healthy teeth.
Wisdom Teeth Examinations and Impaction
Having a thorough dental health examination performed at our Denville oral surgeon’s office is the first step toward deciding if now is the right time for wisdom teeth removal. Dr. Moccio is happy to consult with all patients who are struggling with their third molars, but she recommends completing an exam and having the wisdom teeth removed before they can form significant roots. Though every individual's development is different, most patients can benefit from having their wisdom teeth extracted before the age of 16.
During the exam, Dr. Moccio will take X-rays to determine where the wisdom teeth are in their development and if any potential problems exist. She will also look at impaction, which occurs when a tooth becomes stuck in a potentially harmful position. There are three degrees of impaction:
• Soft tissue impaction, where the upper portion of the tooth has penetrated through the bone but not the entire gum.
• Partial bony impaction, where the tooth has broken through only a portion of the jawbone and gum.
• Complete bony impaction
, where the tooth is completely surrounded by jawbone.
Wisdom Teeth Examination
Dr. Moccio strongly recommends removing the wisdom teeth before the roots form, usually before age 16. This is because wisdom teeth roots mature and become more firmly anchored
to the bone as you age. This makes removal more complicated and has an increased risk of lower jaw nerve damage. Oral Surgeons are the experts for wisdom teeth removal. At the consultation visit, Dr. Moccio will perform a thorough examination of the wisdom and surrounding teeth. Panoramic X-rays will be taken in order to evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and determine if a current problem exists, or the likelihood of any potential future problems. The X-rays can also expose additional risk factors, such as deterioration or decay of nearby teeth. Early evaluation and treatment (typically in the mid-teen years) is recommended in order to identify potential problems and to improve the results for patients requiring wisdom teeth extractions. Only after a thorough examination can Dr. Moccio provide you with the best options for your particular case.
What Does the Removal of Wisdom Teeth Involve?
The exact plan for wisdom teeth extraction is formulated by Dr. Moccio after she evaluates a patient's dental health. Extraction is a procedure that can be completed in our office under either oral or intravenous (IV) sedation. Please arrange a consultation
at our Denville oral surgery office today so that Dr. Moccio can discuss your wisdom teeth removal options with you in detail.