Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to develop and appear in the mouth. They enter the mouth behind the upper and lower second (12 Year) molars between the ages of 17 and 25.
What is an impacted tooth?
Teeth are considered impacted if they are unable to erupt completely into the mouth. They may have tissue or bone or both covering all or part of the tooth.
Why are impacted wisdom teeth a concern?
An impacted tooth may be painful and can contribute to a variety of problems, including:
• Damage to neighboring teeth and roots
• Tooth Decay
• Periodontal disease
• Receding gums
• Loosened teeth
• Bone loss
• Tooth loss
More serious problems may occur if the developmental sac surrounding the impacted tooth becomes filled with fluid and enlarges to form a cyst, which can grow and damage the bone structure and strength of the jaw.
What if my wisdom teeth haven’t caused any problems yet?
Many people believe that as long as they are not in pain, they do not have to worry about their wisdom teeth. However, not having symptoms does not mean there is not disease present. Even wisdom teeth that are fully erupted in the mouth can be problematic. Because they are located where there is little room in the back of the mouth, they are extremely difficult to keep clean. As a result, the bacteria that cause gum disease and decay often collect behind them and lead to problems before pain or other symptoms alert you to the issue. Research has also shown that this collection of bacteria in the mouth can also contribute to other health problems including diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease.
When is the right time to have my wisdom teeth removed?
Since every patient and case is unique, a consultation complete with a panoramic x-ray or cone beam CT scan, thorough history and physical, and assessment of tooth development is necessary. During this consultation, Dr. Clark considers all aspects of the patient to determine the urgency of wisdom tooth removal.
In general, wisdom teeth should be removed in young adulthood, or if there is evidence of periodontal disease, cavities, infections, cysts or tumors, or damage to neighboring teeth. There are also some cases in which wisdom teeth are unlikely to require removal, and those will also be discussed at your consultation.
What happens during and after wisdom tooth removal?
Most patients choose to have general anesthesia for the removal of impacted wisdom teeth. Dr. Clark and the clinical staff at Kendall Implant and Oral surgery are unique. Each staff member has completed and passed courses in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Life Support, and Dr. Clark also maintains a Registered Nurse for all procedures to improve the safety and education of the patient. Most wisdom tooth extractions are performed routinely with little to no discomfort to the patient.
After surgery, the patient receives comprehensive instructions on postoperative care, addressing issues such as eating, pain management, swelling, complications and more. Our staff remain on call after hours and on the weekends should the patient have questions or require assistance.
Should complications occur after wisdom tooth surgery, all visits or procedures are provided as part of the surgery and are free of charge.
Dr. Clark graduated high school from Texas Military Institute in San Antonio; received his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University in College Station; his dental degree from Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas; and went on to serve 12 years of military service in the US Army. During his time in service, he attended a one-year Advanced Education in General Dentistry Program in Fort Benning, GA, and his residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery at Eisenhower Medical Center/Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, GA.
Dr. Clark enjoys practicing the full scope of oral and maxillofacial surgical procedures to include dental alveolar surgery, dental implant surgery, soft tissue grafting, trauma management, cosmetic surgery, orthognathic surgery, facial repair on patients with cleft lip and palate, and oral cancer surgery.
Heidi Clark and her husband, Dr. Charlie Clark are originally from Comfort, Texas and own Kendall Implant & Oral Surgery.
109 Falls Court
Boerne, TX 78006