Wisdom Teeth

By the age of 18, the average adult has 32 teeth; 16 teeth on the top and 16 teeth on the bottom. Each tooth in the mouth has a specific name and function. The teeth in the front of the mouth (incisors, canine, and bicuspid teeth) are ideal for grasping and biting food into smaller pieces. The back teeth (molar teeth) are used to grind food up into a consistency suitable for swallowing.

The average mouth is made to hold only 28 teeth. It can be painful when 32 teeth try to fit in a mouth that holds only 28 teeth. These four other teeth are your third molars, also known as “wisdom teeth.”

Why Should I Have my Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. When they align properly and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not generally happen. The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth. 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. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the teeth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The result: swelling, stiffness, pain, and illness. The pressure from the erupting wisdom teeth may move other teeth and disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment of teeth. The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Removal of the offending impacted teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.

Call our office at McMurray Office Phone Number 724-942-4800 with any questions about Wisdom Teeth or to make an appointment with Dr. Stopperich.

Wisdom Teeth Presentation

To provide you with a better understanding of wisdom teeth, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to wisdom teeth are discussed.

Wisdom Teeth Presentation

Oral Examination

With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, Dr. Stopperich can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there are present or may be future problems. Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment result in a superior outcome for the patient.

Patients are generally first evaluated in the mid-teenage years by their dentist, orthodontist or by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

All out-patient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. Dr. Stopperich has the training, license, and experience to provide various types of anesthesia for patients to select the best alternative.

Wisdom Teeth Removal

In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under local anesthesia, laughing gas (nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia), or general anesthesia. These options, as well as the surgical risks (i.e., sensory nerve damage, sinus complications) will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed. Once the teeth are removed, the gum is sutured. To help control bleeding, bite down on the gauze placed in your mouth. You will rest under our supervision in the office until you are ready to be taken home. Upon discharge, your post-operative kit will include post-operative instructions, a prescription for pain medication, antibiotics, and a follow-up appointment in one week for suture removal. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at McMurray Office Phone Number 724-942-4800.

Our services are provided in an environment of optimum safety that utilizes modern monitoring equipment and staff who are experienced in anesthesia techniques.

Wisdom Tooth Removal Overview

For a brief narrated overview of the wisdom tooth removal process, please click the image below. It will launch our educational MiniModule in a separate window that may answer some of your questions about wisdom teeth.

Wisdom Tooth Removal Overview

Stopperich Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

5 out of 5 stars based on 262 Wisdom Teeth/Third Molars reviews.

Patient Review By Alexa D

Thank you for making this process so easy! Dr. Stopperich (and his staff) made it so easy to choose this practice to take care of my kids. I will most definitely be recommending your office to friends in need of an oral/maxiofacial surgeon!

- Alexa D

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Anna V

We highly recommend this practice.

- Anna V

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Deanne M

Wonderful group of people

- Deanne M

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Shianne L


- Shianne L

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Harley D

Excellent service

- Harley D

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Stacy K

This was our second child to use Dr Stopprich and staff for wisdom teeth extraction. Can not express how great our experience was upon arrival to exit.

- Stacy K

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Jill E


- Jill E

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Lindsey T

Excellent care.

- Lindsey T

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Rhiannon W

Very pleasant experience

- Rhiannon W

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Nadia C

Overall for getting 4 impacted wisdom teeth out ,everything went very well.

- Nadia C

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Skylar M

Will return with som in a few years

- Skylar M

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Elizabeth J

The preparation for the procedure went very smoothly, and there was very little waiting when we arrived. I apprecitated how organized the office is since my daughter was a little nervous about the extraction procedure.

- Elizabeth J

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Lisa T

Doctor and staff very nice.

- Lisa T

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Jacob M

This our second son that was treated here. Totally satisfied. Thanks for taking such good care of them.

- Jacob M

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Carrir G

Very professional

- Carrir G

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Payton L

Wonderful experience

- Payton L

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Larissa G

I came to Dr. Stopperich to get my wisdom teeth removed. I have had unpleasant dental/oral surgeon visits with other providers in the past but my entire experience with Dr. Stopperich was fantastic. He is knowledgable, professional, kind, honest, and easy to talk to. His staff is friendly and helpful. The office is beautiful. I wish I could come to Dr. Stopperich as my regular dentist. I never would have expected getting my wisdom teeth pulled would be the best overall medical experience I have ever had.

- Larissa G

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Lisa L

Excellent Treatment to both patient and parent.

- Lisa L

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Maeve P

Easy procedure

- Maeve P

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Review By Erin H


- Erin H

5 out of 5 stars on