What are wisdom teeth?

The wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth to erupt in your mouth. The average adult has four wisdom teeth: two upper and two lower. The third molars typically grow in during the late teens or early 20s.

Do I need to have my wisdom teeth removed?

Because the wisdom teeth are the last teeth to grow in, there is often not enough room for them to erupt properly. If they align properly and the gum tissue is healthy, the wisdom teeth do not need to be removed. Unfortunately, however, this does not happen often. The wisdom teeth are frequently unable to erupt as normal, resulting in them growing sideways, only partially emerging from the gums, or remaining trapped under the bone and gum tissues (impaction). Poorly positioned or impacted wisdom teeth can cause several problems, including:

  • Infection in the gum tissues
  • Disruption to orthodontics or the natural alignment of the teeth
  • Damage to the neighboring teeth
  • The formation of cysts or tumors
  • Damage to the jawbone
  • Tooth decay

Dr. Daniel Cannon generally recommends early removal of the wisdom teeth in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to avoid these complications and to keep your smile healthy and free from pain. If our oral surgeon determines that your wisdom teeth should be removed, it is usually performed under local anesthesia, nitrous oxide (laughing gas), or general anesthesia. If you would like to learn more about wisdom teeth removal at Cannon Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, we invite you to contact us today.