Wisdom Teeth Removal
Dr. Terry Lee Work has performed thousands of wisdom teeth removals over his career. The best time to have wisdom teeth removed is between the ages of 17 and 21 in order to avoid a dangerous infection or impacted teeth. At Dental Works, our dentists use advanced panoramic radiographs to evaluate and plan wisdom teeth removal so that patients can enjoy a quick recovery.View transcript
So when I was in the military for a year and a half, all I did was take out wisdom teeth. Eight hours a day, five days a week, I've taken out, I figured, something like 7,000 wisdom teeth over the course of time. And over the course of doing that in the Navy, I found that it's really important to evaluate the patient's experience. Now there may be wisdom teeth that are too complicated to be done in my practice, so I refer them to an oral surgeon who is a colleague of mine I've been referring to for about 15 years, 20 years actually. So wisdom teeth are third molars, and most people don't have room for them. It's best if you can get them removed when you're younger before the teeth fully form. If you wait until you're, say, my age, it can be very traumatic. The roots completely form and it makes them more difficult to remove. So anywhere between 17 years of age and 21 is a good time to be evaluated for your wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth extraction is really important that it's done before you have an infection. If you have an infection in your wisdom teeth because of the anatomical location of wisdom teeth, you can end up with an infection that can migrate down into your chest and cause serious problems, even death, under really, really rare circumstances. So typical wisdom teeth extraction is you'll have a panoramic radiograph to evaluate the position of the teeth. Sometimes the proximity of the wisdom teeth to the lingual nerve, or the nerve in your lower jaw, is such that we need to do what's known as a cone beam scan. It shows a three-dimensional picture of your skull and your wisdom teeth, and so we can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth to the nerves or sinuses, and then we can evaluate whether or not you're a good candidate to have them removed here in our office. Recovery time is three to four days of being pretty swollen and pretty uncomfortable and then weekly post-ops until the patient has fully recovered.