Exploring the Mouth: What Is the Purpose of Wisdom Teeth?

Having teeth grow in is simply part of growing up. Throughout your younger years, you experience almost all of your teeth erupting. But it isn’t until you’re in your late teens or early adulthood that you may experience your wisdom teeth coming in. Wisdom teeth don’t give you more wisdom, so what exactly is the point of having wisdom teeth?

Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are your third set of molars that grow in the very back of your mouth. And to be frank, they don’t really have much of a purpose anymore. Experts believe that way back when our ancestor’s diet consisted of rough, coarse food, they needed that extra set of molars to break up the food. But since today’s diets consist of much softer food, people don’t technically need wisdom teeth anymore. And because of evolution, more people are starting to not have any wisdom teeth, or just one or two rather than a full set of four. Wisdom teeth are simply an extra set of molars that take up more room in our mouths, which can end up leading to some common wisdom teeth concerns.

Why Are Wisdom Tooth Extractions Needed?

When people reach the wisdom-tooth age, their dentist will take x-rays and make some important decisions about their wisdom teeth. If you’re lucky, your wisdom teeth will erupt and fit perfectly in your mouth. But if you’re like most people, you may have to have wisdom tooth surgery.

Teeth extractions are common nowadays — in fact, about 69% of Americans between the ages of 35 and 44 have at least one tooth that’s missing in their mouths. And furthermore, one in four Americans older than 74 don’t have any of their natural teeth remaining. But wisdom teeth may need to be removed for a variety of reasons: they could cause overcrowding, become impacted, or cause infections if they erupt incorrectly. Wisdom tooth concerns often lead oral surgeons to remove the wisdom teeth before they even have the chance to erupt. If the wisdom teeth erupt incorrectly, they can cause further problems.

So, if your dentist says you have wisdom teeth, don’t worry. While there are plenty of wisdom teeth concerns to keep in mind, choosing the right oral surgeon will have your teeth removed properly if necessary and you won’t be any less wise.

Tooth Eruption: When Do Adult Teeth Come in?

As people age, they begin to lose their baby teeth and go through the slow, and sometimes painful, processes of having their adult teeth erupt. Adult teeth are important without them, we wouldn’t be able to eat our favorite snacks! Our teeth are important to not only our oral health but the health condition of the rest of our body as well. This means it’s important to take care of them, especially as they’re beginning to erupt. When can people expect permanent teeth to come in throughout life?

Dental Care for Kids Pediatric CareTooth Eruption Timeline

While tooth eruption can vary from person to person, the first permanent teeth generally start coming in around the age of six or seven. The first molars are usually the first teeth to come in, followed by the central incisors around seven or eight years old. Around 10 years old, the other permanent teeth start to emerge. These teeth include the first and second premolars and the canine teeth. And lastly, the remaining molars begin to come in. By around 13, most permanent teeth will have erupted and settled in their place. If teeth are having difficulty coming in, like an impacted canine tooth or ingrown tooth, then oral surgery procedures may need to be considered to help the teeth come in and remove them if necessary.

Wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth generally don’t begin to erupt until the person is in their late teens or early 20s. But not everyone has wisdom teeth. Some people may not have any, while others may have just one or two. These last four teeth aren’t necessary, a lot of people undergo a wisdom tooth procedure to have them removed. Wisdom tooth removal is an extremely common procedure — in fact, it’s performed on five million people in the U.S. every year. Wisdom teeth may be removed for a variety of reasons: they can become impacted, not have enough room to erupt, or can become infected and need to be removed. If there are wisdom teeth concerns, like overcrowding, then an experienced oral surgeon will perform a wisdom tooth procedure to remove them. While a wisdom tooth procedure can seem scary, it can help alleviate pain and discomfort caused.

Teeth require special care, otherwise, they won’t remain healthy and can cause further problems. So as teeth come in, whether it’s baby teeth, adult teeth, or wisdom teeth, it’s important to keep an eye on them and visit a dentist regularly to ensure they’re as healthy as possible.

5 Tips to Help You Prepare for Oral Surgery

Oral surgery can be scary, but there are ways to prepare for your new, full dental implants. While most people know about the aftercare that helps the healing process, many do not realize that before care is key in reducing anxiety and aiding your road to recovery.

Dental procedure example or oral surgeon example1. Talk to Your Oral Surgeon

Every surgery is different and it’s important to know the ins and outs of the procedure before sitting down in the chair. Find an experienced oral surgeon and set up an appointment to talk with them before surgery — this is an important time to ask questions, whether they feel silly or not.

Remember to include talking to them about pre-op care, such as fasting, medications, after care so you can prepare, etc.

Many people do not realize that they may need to stop taking certain medications before receiving full dental implants. Additionally, talking to the person performing the surgery will create a line of trust, ensuring you feel more comfortable leading up to the day of the operation.

2. Stock Up on Soft Food

As a dental implant patient, it’ll be hard to eat post-op. Before you enter the operating room, be sure to stock up on soft foods like yogurts, puddings, and potatoes. Doing this will save you a painful trip to the store later. Your surgeon will let you know when you can return to your normal diet.

3. Find a Trusted Driver if Sedated

Ride-sharing apps have become more common, but it’s important to get a trusted friend or family member to agree to drive you to and from the surgery. Do this in advance — this time is stressful enough without worrying about how you will get home. It is illegal to drive after.

Your health is the most important thing. When receiving full dental implants or undergoing oral surgeries, it is imperative to prepare. Not only will this reduce your anxiety upon entering the oral surgeon practice, you will be on the right track to recovery.

3 Reasons You Might Need a Tooth Extraction

Going to the dentist is an important activity that should be done on a regular basis. From spotting cavities to just getting a cleaning, regular dentist visits are vital for our oral health. But unfortunately, dentist visits aren’t always pleasant, especially when a tooth extraction is involved. While tooth extractions can be uncomfortable, they’re done for a reason. So what are some common reasons our chompers need to be removed?

Disease or decay: When teeth become damaged, infected, or become susceptible to disease, they often need to be removed. If it’s just slightly damaged, a general dentist may attempt to fix the tooth so it doesn’t need to be removed. And if the tooth is infected or diseased, the dentist may attempt to clear the infection or disease using methods like a root canal. But an infection or disease can quickly spread, so tooth extraction may be necessary.

Overcrowding: Sometimes, people simply don’t have enough room in their mouths for all of their adult teeth. When this happens, their teeth can become misaligned. Removing a tooth can give other teeth in the mouth room to sit properly. Sometimes, there isn’t even enough room for a tooth to erupt through the gums.

Wisdom teeth: Wisdom teeth are the third molars that grow in the very back of the mouth. Unfortunately, most people end up having these teeth removed because they can be quite problematic. The wisdom teeth can be impacted, which means they don’t have enough room to erupt normally. Additionally, they can become infected or begin to decay. In these cases, a wisdom tooth extraction may be necessary.

There are a number of reasons why teeth would need to be extracted. While tooth extractions can be beneficial, leave an empty space behind. In this case, dental implants may be suggested to keep the mouth full of those pearly whites. Overall, it’s important to find an oral surgeon who knows what’s best for your teeth and can provide comfortable extraction procedures if necessary.

Can Tooth Extraction Affect Sinuses and Nasal Passages?

If you’ve ever lost an adult tooth, naturally or through an extraction, you’re not alone. In fact, according to prosthodontists, there are over 35 million Americans who don’t have teeth in one or both jaws. For various reasons, dentists may decide to remove a tooth. Whether it’s because of wisdom teeth concerns, an impacted canine tooth, or another dental problem, tooth extractions are extremely common. But like with most procedures, there are concerns when it comes time to remove a tooth. One common concern is whether tooth extractions can impact sinuses and nasal passages.

Your sinuses are located directly above your upper teeth. Due to the location of your sinuses, there is the possibility of there being issues with sinuses when an upper tooth is removed. It is important to note that the location of the sinus floor can vary from person to person. One person may have a sinus floor that is way above their tooth roots while another person may have a closer sinus floor. For those people who have sinuses that are close to touching their tooth roots, there is the possibility of their sinuses being harmed during a tooth extraction.

Because of the possible closeness of the sinus floor and the tooth roots, oral surgeons need to be especially careful when removing upper teeth. Undiagnosed sinus perforations can lead to infections and sinus drainage, both of which are more than unpleasant. Fortunately, a sinus perforation can easily be avoided.

Using x-rays, oral surgeons can easily see how close the sinus floor is to the tooth roots. If the sinus floor is too close for comfort, the dentist may suggest a sinus lift. During the extraction procedure, the surgeon will take necessary precautions to ensure the sinus is protected.

If a sinus does become damaged or exposed during a tooth extraction, the patient may experience symptoms like:

  • Periodic nose bleeding from the extraction site
  • Liquid coming out of the nose when drinking
  • Air going from the nose to the mouth when breathing

If an exposed sinus is detecting, the oral surgeon will close the site and the patient is generally given antibiotics to prevent infection during the healing process.

While there is a chance of sinuses being damaged during tooth extractions, experienced oral surgeons are aware of how to protect the sinuses when it comes time to remove a tooth. By choosing the right oral surgeon, you can rest assured your procedure will go as planned.

What to Know About the Tooth Extraction Healing Process

There are many reasons why teeth need to be pulled. Tooth extractions are extremely common. In fact, about five million Americans have their wisdom teeth removed each year. Tooth extractions are so common, it’s important to understand the healing process. With that in mind, let’s talk about a few important things to know about a tooth extraction healing process.Jaw Pain What's Causing It? On Mouth

The extraction process itself is simple. After numbing the extraction site, the oral surgeon will grasp the tooth and rock is back and forth until it comes loose. If the tooth is impacted or hasn’t erupted yet, the surgeon will have to cut away the gum and bone tissue covering the tooth. After the tooth is loosened from the jaw bone, it should come right out.

Once the tooth is removed, the patient will be sent home to rest and heal. The tooth extraction healing process is generally quick. Recovery may only take a few days, it is very important to be cautious while the extraction site is healing. If the patient has any prescription medication, it should be taken as prescribed. Additionally, physical activity should be limited the first few days to avoid irritating the extraction site.

It’s important to leave the extraction site alone as much as possible. This means when brushing or rinsing, the patient should try to avoid or be gentle around the extraction site. Furthermore, any sucking or sipping should be avoided: this means no smoking or sipping through straws. This action can affect the clot that has formed in the gap and can cause issues.

There are problems, like dry sockets, that can form during the healing process. These problems need to be looked at by the oral surgeon and should be addressed as quickly as possible. If the patient is experiencing excessive pain, it’s best to go back to the dental office.

Whether it’s for a dental implant procedure or wisdom tooth removal, it’s important for tooth extraction patients to give their mouths the necessary time to heal.

Wisdom Teeth 101: What Are They and Why Am I in Pain?

Oral Surgeon Office TeamAs humans, we face many milestones in our lives, one of these milestones is having your third set of molars come in — your wisdom teeth. Unfortunately, these molars don’t make people any wiser. Oftentimes, people don’t have room in their mouths for them and must get them removed. Your dentist will be able to judge whether you get to keep your wisdom teeth.

If your dentist decides you don’t have room for your wisdom teeth, you’ll have to have a surgical tooth extraction to have them removed. A dentist may use dental cone-beam computed tomography to create 3D images of the mouth, compared to 2D images created by traditional x-rays, to determine if wisdom teeth need to be removed.

If there isn’t enough space, wisdom teeth can cause a variety of problems. A surgical tooth extraction may be necessary if:

The wisdom teeth aren’t in the right position

The wisdom teeth don’t have room to erupt

The wisdom teeth are impacted

The wisdom teeth only partially erupt

The wisdom teeth are moving other teeth

If there isn’t room or the wisdom teeth are causing other issues, then you’ll most likely have to undergo wisdom tooth removal. Fortunately, wisdom teeth removal is one of the most common oral surgery procedures, as not many people have room for extra teeth.

If your wisdom teeth are coming in improperly, you may experience quite a bit of pin. While every patient is different, many patients experience pain and discomfort when their wisdom teeth are coming in. Therefore, there are many wisdom teeth extraction benefits — removing these teeth can ease discomfort and make it easier to take care of your teeth.

The extraction procedure itself is simple in most cases. If a wisdom tooth has erupted, it can be removed just like any other tooth. But oftentimes, wisdom teeth are removed before they erupt to avoid any additional problems. In this case, the gums will have to be cut open to reach the tooth. The process may become a little more complicated when wisdom teeth are impacted, but an experienced oral surgeon will be able to get the job done correctly.

Hopefully, you’ll luck out and won’t need your wisdom teeth removed — or you won’t have any at all! If you do have them, make sure to listen to your dentist and have them removed if recommended to avoid complications.

What exactly is a Dental Implant?

Missing teeth are more common than you may think. In fact, about 69% of Americans between the ages of 35 and 44 have one or more missing tooth. Did you know one in four Americans older than 74 have none of their natural teeth left? While missing teeth are common, that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck with a gaping hole in your mouth. Fortunately, there are dental implant procedures that can give you back your smile. But what exactly is a dental implant? To answer that question, this article is going to provide some important things to know about being a dental implant patient.

First things first, it’s important to understand that a dental implant isn’t the replacement tooth. The implant is a replacement for tooth roots and provides a solid foundation for a replacement tooth to be put on. These replacement teeth are made to match your natural teeth to provide a seamless smile.

Oral Surgery Check There are plenty of advantages patients can receive from having a dental implant procedure. Some dental implant procedures may include:

§  Improved appearance of your smile

§  Easier eating and speaking

§  Increased oral health

§  Alleviated discomfort

§  Increased convenience and durability


Dental implant surgery is a great option for anyone who is healthy enough to undergo the procedure. It’s a safe, successful alternative to having missing teeth and can significantly improve the life of the patient.

However, it is important to note that the dental implant procedure is not quick. In fact, it takes numerous procedures to have a replacement tooth put in. The procedure starts with meeting with an experienced oral surgeon, who will determine the best course of action to take. After the treatment plan is established, the root implant is placed into the bone socket where the tooth is missing. The jaw bone will heal around the implant, creating a solid foundation. This healing process can take multiple weeks before the next step can be performed. After the jaw bone has healed, a connector, called an abutment, is secured to the implant. And after the replacement tooth, called a crown, is created, it is attached to the abutment.

So while this process may take longer than expected, it’s worth it in the end. Dental implant teeth look and feel just like real teeth and can bring a new sense of self-confidence to those who are missing teeth.

Nitrous Oxide Q and A

Do I Qualify for Nitrous Oxide?

When it comes to more complex dental procedures, like an impacted tooth removal or oral bone graft, dentists may opt to use nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is a gas that provides conscious sedation to the patient to allow the oral surgeon to perform the procedure without causing the patient extreme discomfort or pain. Using this gas is one of the most effective ways to conduct a difficult dental procedure, but not many patients know why or when it is used.

Why and when is nitrous oxide used?

Some dental procedures are more complicated than others. During these procedures, nitrous oxide is commonly used to help the patient relax and stay still to avoid causing complications during the procedure. This colorless, odorless gas acts quickly and doesn’t have any serious side effects. Nitrous oxide is administered safely to help manage discomfort, pain, and anxiety in dental patients. With about three million people having dental implants and 500,000 more becoming dental implant patients each year, there are numerous situations that may require nitrous oxide. An experienced oral surgeon will be able to determine if a patient requires nitrous oxide and if they think it would be beneficial during their procedure.

Dental procedure example or oral surgeon example

Who qualifies for nitrous oxide?
For the most part, there are few patients who don’t qualify for nitrous oxide. This harmless gas can be used with almost every patient to help them relax during a variety of dental procedures, like impacted tooth removals, wisdom tooth extractions, and more. However, there are certain people who generally will always be recommended this gas. These people may include:
Children who need complex dental work

Patients who experience anxiety during dental procedures or visits

Patients who don’t want local anesthesia

Patients who have a strong gag reflex

Patients who require an excessively painful procedure

Overall, nitrous oxide is a safe, fast-acting gas that can be used in a variety of dental situations. For patients with anxiety or fear of pain, this gas can help them relax and get the necessary dental work done. So, whether you need to undergo an impacted tooth removal or another complex procedure, ask your dentist or oral surgeon if nitrous oxide could be a good option.

Reasons to Make That Tooth-Hurty Appointment with Your Dentist

Oral pain can be excruciating and can make daily tasks such as talking and eating extremely difficult. The best way to reduce your tooth or gum pain is to seek out professional dental care as soon as possible. A dental professional will be able to identify the source of your pain and suggest possible treatments.

There are many reasons you could have a toothache or oral pain, and the treatment you receive will be based on the diagnosis.

Cavities are caused by tooth decay, a type of damage to your tooth that begins to eat away at the inner or outer layer. Cavities can be extremely painful, and depending on how severe they are, the necessary treatments will vary. Usually, your dentist will drill out the decayed part of your tooth and then fill the cavity. However, if your cavity is severe, then you might have to get a crown. A crown is used when the tooth is so decayed that not much of it is left. During this procedure, your dentist will remove and repair the decayed part and then fit a crown over the rest of the tooth. In some cases, the decay has damaged the root or pulp of your tooth so badly that you’ll need a root canal. In this procedure, your dentist will remove the decay as well as the pulp of your tooth and will usually install a crown afterward.

Abscessed Tooth
An abscess refers to a sack of pus that will develop around the root of an infected tooth. An abscessed tooth isn’t something you can treat on your own, you’ll need to visit a dentist or endodontist to get it treated. If you leave it alone, the infection could spread to your jaw, head, and neck. An abscessed tooth is usually caused by advanced tooth decay, a cracked tooth, or gum disease. Impacted wisdom teeth are the molars at the back of the mouth that can’t develop normally due to lack of space to emerge and are often removed. However, the common treatment for an abscessed tooth is a root canal, which was detailed above. Sometimes you might need surgery to drain a certain type of abscess, called a periodontal abscess.

While most people wish to avoid a surgical tooth extraction, it can sometimes be the only means of relieving oral pain. If your tooth is the cause of your pain and there are no other means of repair, a dentist will suggest a surgical tooth extraction procedure for your benefit. However, you can deny such a procedure if you choose, although it’s highly recommended that you follow the advice of your dental practitioner.

If you’re in need of an implant, oral or jaw surgery, and/or a tooth removal, then contact the office of Implant, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons of Washington today.