The most recognized form of oral surgery is tooth extraction. Tooth extraction may be necessary for various reasons, including:

  • Impacted or partially erupted wisdom teeth
  • Teeth that are not repairable from severe tooth decay, root fracture, or trauma
  • Primary teeth that have failed to fall out, and so prevent permanent teeth from erupting
  • Tooth extraction before successful orthodontic treatment

You should consider many options with regard to wisdom teeth removal.

*Some of your options include:

(1) Do nothing option.

(2) See an oral surgeon for a second opinion (or expert level care / general anesthesia).
*Fairfax OMFS in Reston VA is the Oral Surgery office we refer our patients to.

(3) Have one (or all) of the wisdom teeth removed by our general dentists with local anesthesia / light sedation.

*Reasons to Rush and Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed Early in Life:

(1) Before the age of 16, the root tips are still soft follicle material, as opposed to hard calcified root tips that can injure the main nerve.

(2) Before the age of 40, the surrounding bone is not hard yet, thus it is easier to successfully remove the entire tooth without broken root tips.

(3) It is obvious that doing surgery young is better because patients are healthier and they heal faster.

(4) The sooner you remove the wisdom teeth directly correlates with the amount of flexibility the dentist will have during the procedure.

*If you come with pulpal caries on the tooth, then the dentist is forced to go after broken root tips.

*However, if you come with no caries (or minimal superficial caries) then the dentist can ignore a broken root tip. This is one of the main benefits of the removal of wisdom teeth while they are healthy.

(5) Removal of wisdom teeth in older age is much more dangerous (and complicated) than during adolescent years.

*Patient would have normal overall health and normal bone density/mineralization in adolescent years.

*Elderly patients are much more prone to complications associated with wisdom tooth removal including jaw fracture.

* In elderly patients, the palatal shelf of alveolar bone thins to be replaced by a fat pad. This also makes wisdom tooth removal much more complicated and riskier during advanced age. Thus, our doctors usually recommend that people remove their wisdom teeth while they are still young and healthy.

* Reasons to Remove Your Wisdom Teeth:

(1) Wisdom teeth almost always cause some problems for the patient throughout life, and often times these problems are severe, painful, and/or dangerous. Sometimes these dangerous wisdom teeth infections happen during pregnancy and/or other sensitive periods during a person’s life

(2) Common problems with wisdom teeth:

*Wisdom teeth get more caries than other teeth due to heavy usage and inadequate hygiene which leads to a large problem with occlusal and interproximal caries (aka dental infection).

*Wisdom teeth get more gum disease than other teeth due to heavy usage and inadequate hygiene which leads to significant periodontal bone loss, which affects the wisdom tooth and the adjacent 2nd molar with bone loss around the roots.

* Furthermore, periodontal disease is known to be a factor in cardiovascular disease and possibly diabetes, etc.

(3) Humans have evolved to have shorter jaws that no longer have space for the wisdom teeth to erupt properly. Thus, wisdom teeth are typically impacted causing pain and infections due to food traps that form around them.

(4) Wisdom teeth are thought to continually push forward (mesial drift phenomenon) during a patient’s entire life. Thus, the bone remodeling that happens behind the wisdom teeth actually pushes the molars forward in a mesial direction (mesial drift) causing crowding of the front incisors. Many orthodontists agree that the removal of wisdom teeth can avoid unwanted anterior crowding.

(5) Even if your wisdom teeth have not started hurting yet, our doctors still recommend having all impacted wisdom teeth removed preventatively to avoid further problems that could happen later in life. However, if you have already felt (i.) pain, (ii.) swelling, (iii.) infection, (iv.) the taste of infection/pus, or (v.) the pressure associated with impacted wisdom teeth then those are all important symptoms that reinforce the need to have them removed.

*Most common complications from wisdom tooth removal:

*Broken root tips or ankylosed root system.

*Results in leaving a root tip in place or leaving the entire root system in place (aka coronectomy).

* Infection at the site of the surgery

Here at Reston Family Dental Center, we use an outstanding 3D cone beam technology to help with the removal of complicated wisdom teeth. This advanced technology allows our dentists to examine your teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways, and bone in a single, comfortable scan.