Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are dentists specializing in surgery of the mouth, face, and jaws. After four years of dental school, surgeons continue attending four to seven years of hospital-based surgical and medical training, preparing them to do a wide range of procedures including all types of surgery of both the bones and soft tissues of the face, mouth, and neck.
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to grow in the mouth. When they align properly and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this is pretty rare. The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are can’t properly grow. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum, and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as they attempt to find a pathway that will allow them to successfully erupt.
These poorly positioned impacted teeth can cause many problems and pain. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the teeth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The pressure from the erupting wisdom teeth may move other teeth and disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment of teeth. Removal of wisdom teeth allows you to avoid these problems and the sooner they are removed the easier the procedure is for both patient and surgeon.
You and your dentist may determine that you need a tooth extraction for any number of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed. Others may have advanced periodontal disease or are broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth) or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.
The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, which can have a major impact on your dental health.
To avoid these complications, our doctors will discuss alternatives to extractions as well replacement of the extracted tooth.
After a tooth has been extracted there will be a resulting hole in your jawbone where the tooth was. In time, this will smooth and fill in with bone. This process can take many weeks or months. However after 1- 2 weeks you should no longer notice any inconvenience.
Dr. Jason Drew is distinguished as one of America’s Top Dentists 5 years running and voted one of California’s favorite dentists. He uses the latest technology and techniques to make dentistry gentle, easy, and even fun. His passion is creating beautiful smiles, and he is an absolute perfectionist when it comes to smile design.
Dr. Allyson Drew is a leader and educator in dentistry. She is an adjunct professor of the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco where she teaches restorative dentistry. As a student researcher, her work to improve access to oral health care earned her academic distinction and an award for…