Third molars, or wisdom teeth, are an additional set of teeth that grow under the surface of the gums and, in many cases, are undetectable without proper X-ray evaluation. It is not uncommon for teens and adults to be unaware that this set of teeth exists in their mouth until they begin to present significant problems.

In some cases, the third molars may fully grow into the mouth or partially grow in, and additional issues may arise. If wisdom teeth fully emerge in the proper position, they have the potential to provide increased chewing and grinding power. Unfortunately, the majority of people do not have a long enough jaw bone or a large enough mouth to accommodate these teeth.

Why should I get my wisdom teeth removed?

Whether a patient has impacted wisdom teeth, partially grown wisdom teeth, or fully grown wisdom teeth, they are at an increased risk for the development of a multitude of oral and dental problems. These issues may require extensive or costly procedures to correct.

Some of the most prevalent problems that wisdom teeth can cause are

  • Bacterial growth, gum disease, and tooth decay
  • Misalignment of healthy teeth as the wisdom teeth are implicated in dental crowding and shifting throughout the mouth
  • Swelling, stiffness, tenderness, pain, and even bad breath caused by periodontal disease
  • Increased risk of tumor growth and cyst development, which can in turn cause issues in healthy teeth and the jaw bone

When should I have my wisdom teeth removed?

Maintaining regular dental health check-ups with your general dentist should help you to determine when and if wisdom teeth are developing. If you currently have wisdom teeth, you should seek treatment as soon as possible to mitigate the issues listed above and avoid costly orthodontic and surgical treatment that may arise from these problems. At Union Square Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center, we recommend that wisdom teeth detection and removal occur as early as possible. The removal process is usually much more rapid and presents fewer complications if wisdom teeth are removed early because the roots of the teeth may not be fully developed. Additionally, recovery from surgery is often faster and easier at a younger age.

What happens during surgery?

If you elect to have your wisdom teeth removed at our office in Union Square, Dr. Rayher will perform a thorough oral examination and determine if it is necessary to supplement any X-rays received from your general dentist with additional X-rays or 3D scanning of the mouth. This will help him to determine the position and size of the teeth and develop a plan for extraction that ensures optimal recovery.

Your procedure will be performed in our state-of-the-art surgical center, which is held to standards similar to hospital operating rooms. Dr. Rayher has been extensively trained to administer anesthesia and offers many anesthetic options to ensure that you are as comfortable and anxiety-free for your procedure as possible, including:

  • Local Anesthesia – an anesthetic applied directly to the area of removal
  • Nitrous Oxide – also known as laughing gas, an anesthetic option used in congruence with other anesthetic options to calm anxiety during the procedure
  • Sedation Anesthesia – administered through an intravenous (IV) line that allows you to sleep during the procedure
  • General Anesthesia – an anesthetic delivered to allow a deep sleep during the procedure

If you have any questions before your procedure, our friendly office staff and skilled surgical team would be happy to help you in any way possible. It is our goal to ensure that you are fully informed and at ease before receiving treatment and that you completely understand the pre- and post-operative instructions to ensure optimal recovery.

If you are in need of wisdom teeth extractions, we encourage you to contact our office to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Rayher. At Union Square Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center in San Francisco, CA, we do everything in our power to make sure that you have a comfortable and rapid recovery following your surgery and achieve the optimum result.