Removal Of Wisdom Teeth Third Molar Removal

Wisdom Teeth Extraction, Pasadena, CA

The average adult has thirty-two teeth by age eighteen, sixteen teeth on the top and sixteen 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 while the back teeth, or molar teeth, are used to grind food up into a consistency suitable for swallowing.

However, in modern society and in part due to decreased dental wear, the average mouth frequently can only hold 28 teeth. The four teeth that usually end up with insufficient room for eruption are the wisdom teeth (third molars). When the wisdom teeth try to erupt into a mouth that can only hold 28 teeth, it can be painful and destructive to the adjacent teeth. As a result, the majority of modern patients require the removal of their wisdom teeth.

Why and When Should I Remove My Wisdom Teeth?

As stated previously, wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within in the mouth. An impacted tooth is defined as an unerupted tooth that in not expected to erupt into a functional and cleansable position. In general, any impacted tooth is considered “a pathological entity(disease causing). 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, therefore necessary when they are not properly erupting within the mouth. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum, and even remain completely 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 erupt successfully.

These poorly positioned impacted teeth frequently cause many problems. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the tooth allows food to be trapped and bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. This typically results in swelling, stiffness, pain and illness. Some believe that the pressure from the erupting wisdom tooth may move other teeth and disrupt the natural alignment of teeth or destroy orthodontic corrections. Injury to structures such as nerves and sinuses increase as the patient ages, therefore removal at earlier ages (10-26 years of age) reduces the rate of these complications. Finally, the most serious problem with impacted teeth occurs when tumors or cysts form around impacted wisdom teeth and other impacted teeth resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and other healthy teeth. Eradication of these lesions can be complex including the removal of small or large portions of both soft and hard tissues of the jaws, requiring complicated reconstruction of these defects. As many as 20% of impacted teeth can produce these cysts and tumors over the life span of a patient.

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


Removal of the offending impacted tooth or teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure. The most ideal time to remove third molars is when they are not fully developed thus reducing the surgical risks. Removal of impacted wisdom teeth generally should be performed prior to age 26 but can be safely and easily performed as early as age 10 when indicated.

Oral Examination

With an oral examination and radiographs Drs. Elias, Stephens and Jun can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there may be present or future problems. Many 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.

Anesthesia Management

All out patient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. Drs. Elias, Stephens and Jun have extensive training and experience allowing him to provide various types of anesthesia options and allows patients to select the best alternative for them. These services are provided in an environment of optimum safety, utilizing modern monitoring equipment and certified staff experienced in all anesthesia techniques. In addition, The Pacific Coast Center for Oral, Facial and Cosmetic Surgery also has a fully equipped full size operating suite in the event that Drs. Elias, Stephens or Jun feels your procedure is best managed in such an environment with a separate anesthesia provider.

Are You Ready to Take Care of Your Smile? We are currently accepting new patients and would love to help you take your smile to the next level. Call Image of a Red Phone The Pacific Coast Center for Oral, Facial and Cosmetic Surgery, Pasadena office Phone Number 626-440-0099 to make an appointment OR easily preregister with Drs. Elias, Stephens or Jun today with our Online Patient Registration