Wisdom Teeth Removal in St. Louis, MO
Wisdom teeth removal is a commonly performed tooth extraction procedure; roughly 75 to 80 percent of people will require wisdom extractions in their lifetime. Dr. Thomas E. O'Connor has more than 35 years of experience performing wisdom teeth removal procedures at our St. Louis dental practice and can help you determine if you need to have your wisdom teeth removed to maintain your oral health and prevent damage to other teeth.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the back set of molars. The exact time when wisdom teeth begin to move into place varies from person to person. In most cases, wisdom teeth eruption occurs between the ages of 17 to 25; however, it is common to remove the wisdom teeth before they erupt in order to avoid complications.
Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed?
Wisdom teeth removal can be necessary for a number of reasons, including:
- Not enough space in your smile - Many people do not have enough room for their wisdom teeth. The pressure exerted by the third molars leads to crowding and shifting of the other teeth.
- Infection – In an emergency situation where your wisdom teeth have partially erupted and have caused bacteria to invade sensitive gum tissue, they will need to be removed as soon as possible
- Impaction - An impacted wisdom tooth is one that cannot pass through the gums due to space limitations or other structural problems in the jaw. A wisdom tooth can be fully impacted, meaning that the entire tooth is obstructed, or partially impacted, meaning that only a section of it is not able to emerge. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain and discomfort in the jaw over time, making extraction necessary.
Does Everyone Need Wisdom Teeth Removal?
No, not everyone will need to undergo wisdom teeth removal, but the majority of people do. The only way to know for certain whether you will need to have your wisdom teeth taken out is to undergo a dental examination. At our St. Louis practice, Dr. O'Connor uses state-of-the-art 3D imaging technology to study the structure of the mouth and determine whether or not wisdom teeth removal is necessary.
Are Wisdom Extractions Painful?
There are a variety of ways to make wisdom teeth extractions painless, from the use of conscious sedation to local anesthetics. Dr. O'Connor will take whatever steps are necessary to ensure your comfort during the procedure. After an extraction, any discomfort can be managed with pain medication. You will receive complete after care instructions to assist you during recovery.
To determine whether or not wisdom extractions are necessary for you, contact our St. Louis office to schedule an appointment with Dr. O'Connor.