The last molars that develop on either side of your jaw are known as “wisdom teeth” because they normally make their appearance after a patient has grown, between the ages of 16 and 20. If wisdom teeth are well-positioned and healthy, they can be left alone with no risk, and will function properly as part of your bite. Often, however, wisdom teeth require extraction.
When a wisdom tooth has no room in the jaw to emerge, it becomes what is known as “impacted”. With no space to move, the wisdom tooth may begin to move sideways in the jaw, emerge only part way, or become completely trapped, leading to pain, possible infection, and even damage to other teeth. When impaction occurs, extraction is recommended.
Luckily, wisdom tooth extraction is a routine procedure, commonly and safely performed. Dr. Johnson uses either local anesthetic or IV sedation in order to remove the teeth and stitch the gums. Some pain and swelling is normal, but most patients recover within a few days. For those that take longer to heal, Dr. Johnson will provide follow-up care.
At Tawas Bay Dental, you can feel confident about trusting us with your wisdom teeth - it’s the smart thing to do!