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.
With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, Dr. Camarata 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.
Surgery is usually performed under IV sedation, which is both extremely comfortable and results in less swelling and bruising than general anesthesia. In most cases involving a reduction in shape or size of the nose, angle or removal of a hump, the skin of the nose is separated from the underlying skeleton of bone and cartilage. The bone and cartilage are then reshaped and the skin re-draped over the surface. Patients who have a deviated septum may benefit by correction of this problem. The incisions are placed inside the nose, unless the surgeon uses an open approach, in which case the incisions are made across the tissue between the nostrils. In cases where the nostrils flare, the surgeon may make an incision at the junction between the nose and the skin of the upper lip to narrow the flared appearance. It is not unusual to combine rhinoplasty with chin augmentation to improve the profile.
After the treatment patients may experience slight bruising around the area that quickly fades. Normal activities can be performed immediately. Possible side effects are temporary weakness of nearby muscles or in rare cases an eyelid may droop. BOTOX® Cosmetic is completely reversible so any side effect is only a temporary condition. The doctor will explain all risks associated at the time of your consultation.