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.
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.
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.
Stopperich Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Patient Review By Erin H
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Patient Review By Brock S
We had a very positive patient experience.
- Brock S
Patient Review By Janice K
Dr and staff. Excellent. Very caring for patient.
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Dr. Stopperich was very thorough in explaining my procedure. The procedure was quick and easy. Would highly recommend him to anyone!
- Elisabeth T
Patient Review By Katelyn B
I was recommended Dr. Stopperich by a colleague to have my wisdom teeth removed and could not be more pleased. Dr. Stopperich and the entire staff were incredibly helpful and caring to me when I was nervous for the procedure. They called several times prior to surgery to go over instructions verbally to myself and caregiver, as well as provided informative sheet to caregiver so there would be no room for error post op. Would definitely recommend to others.
- Katelyn B
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Very nice staff. No issues. Instructions pre and post op were given thoroughly
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The entire staff was wonderful.
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Excellent staff and doctor, organized and efficient office
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Prompt and efficient
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Everything was amazing
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Dr Stopperidge is very thorough and kind. He explains everything and makes sure you don't have any questions. The staff are so helpful and kind as well. Excellent care!
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Great experience thank you!
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Second child through Dr Stopperich's office. They are great.
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Patient Review By Ryan H
Dr. Stopperich and staff earned the Five Star rating today, Great job! I can't think of a better experience by any doctor and staff in my lifetime, keep up the great work serving your patients!
- Ryan H