Wisdom tooth extraction

Teens, young adults, and anyone experiencing complications from third molars should consider having them surgically removed.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Most people develop 32 permanent teeth. The last teeth to erupt through gums are the third molars, or “wisdom teeth.” These teeth typically emerge between the ages of 17 and 21, though they have been known to appear earlier.  Often, the jaw is not large enough to accommodate the third molars.  Without enough space to erupt, these teeth become “impacted,” or embedded in gum tissue or bone.

Dr. Goeckermann recommends removing wisdom teeth promptly after their formation for several reasons:

  • As the teeth develop, the roots continue to grow longer and the jawbone becomes more dense.  This increases the complexity of removing the teeth.
  • Patient discomfort level after surgery is relative to how long the teeth have been allowed to become established.
  • After age 30, patients are much more likely to experience the problems associated with impacted wisdom teeth.

Why Should Wisdom Teeth be Removed?

The main reasons to remove wisdom teeth are to avoid discomfort and prevent oral health issues, such as:

  • Pain and sensitivity around the impacted teeth.
  • Infection in and around the gum tissue.
  • Damage to the adjacent teeth and possible decay.
  • Cyst formation that can damage the bone.
  • Crowding and improper alignment of the teeth.

The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons has recently published a White Paper supporting the importance of wisdom teeth removal in patients at risk of developing disease. The full report can be read here.

You can also find out more about the importance of wisdom tooth extraction by clicking here: AAOMS/Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom Tooth Extraction Treatment Plan

The first step is an initial consultation and evaluation with Dr. Goeckermann. 

  1. During the consultation appointment, the Dr. Goeckermann will complete a thorough examination, review your x-rays, and discuss the procedure as well as possible complicating factors, such as the position or angle of the teeth and whether they are impacted.  
  2. Dr. Goeckermann will review options for anesthesia to keep you comfortable during surgery.  These options include:  local anesthesia, light sedation with general anesthesia, and sedation.  For more information about anesthesia, visit AAOMS/Anesthesia.
  3. The doctor will explain what to expect during and after your procedure. You will also be given instructions to prepare for the day of your surgery.

Your surgery will be performed in an environment that prioritizes safety. Dr. Goeckermann has years of experience in administering anesthesia and he utilizes the most advanced monitoring equipment available.  

Following surgery, you will be provided with post-operative instructions. You can also review detailed post-surgical instructions by clicking here.