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Posts for tag: wisdom teeth

By Jeffery J. Johnson & Jodi B. Johnson DDS
July 05, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: wisdom teeth  

Do you need your wisdom teeth removed? Although removal isn't always necessary, it may be recommended if you have pain or other Wisdom Teethsymptoms. Your St. Louis, MO, dentists, Drs. Jeffery and Jodi Johnson, offer wisdom tooth extraction and other services and procedures that keep your smile healthy.


Reasons to remove your wisdom teeth

Your St. Louis dentist may recommend wisdom tooth removal if:

  • The Teeth Are Impacted: In theory, having a third set of molars (wisdom teeth) is a great idea. Unfortunately, many people just don't have enough room in their mouths for four extra teeth. Wisdom teeth can become fully or partially impacted. Impaction occurs when the teeth are partially or fully blocked by tissue and bone and can't erupt normally.
  • You're in Pain: Partially or fully impacted pain can cause considerable pain and pressure as they try to push through tissue and bone.
  • You're At Risk for Nerve Damage: Nerve damage is a possibility if a wisdom tooth constantly presses against a nerve. You may experience numbness, tingling or pain in your face for years if a nerve is damaged. Removing the tooth promptly can help prevent this issue.
  • You're Concerned About Your Other Teeth: When there's not enough room in your mouth, wisdom teeth grow in at odd angles. The teeth can overlap your other teeth or push them out of alignment. If you've worn braces for years or straightened your teeth with clear aligners, you probably don't want to risk any change to the appearance of your smile. Removing your wisdom teeth before they cause problems can help you avoid crooked teeth.
  • You've Had an Infection or Cyst: Cysts and infections can be a problem when your wisdom teeth need to be extracted.
  • Your Teeth Are Decayed: Fully or partially erupted wisdom teeth may be more likely to develop decay than other teeth. If the teeth erupted normally, they can be extracted fairly easily. Partially erupted teeth will require minor oral surgery.

Protect your smile with wisdom tooth removal! call your St. Louis, MO, dentists, Drs. Jeffery and Jodi Johnson, at (314) 427-7400 to schedule an appointment.

By Jeffery J. Johnson & Jodi B. Johnson DDS
December 19, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

When die-hard music fans hear that their favorite performer is canceling a gig, it’s a big disappointment—especially if the excuse seems less than earth-shaking. Recently, British pop sensation Dua Lipa needed to drop two dates from her world tour with Bruno Mars. However, she had a very good reason.

“I’ve been performing with an awful pain due to my wisdom teeth,” the singer tweeted, “and as advised by my dentist and oral surgeon I have had to have them imminently removed.”

The dental problem Lipa had to deal with, impacted wisdom teeth, is not uncommon in young adults. Also called third molars, wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt (emerge from beneath the gums), generally making their appearance between the ages of 18-24. But their debut can cause trouble: Many times, these teeth develop in a way that makes it impossible for them to erupt without negatively affecting the healthy teeth nearby. In this situation, the teeth are called “impacted.”

A number of issues can cause impacted wisdom teeth, including a tooth in an abnormal position, a lack of sufficient space in the jaw, or an obstruction that prevents proper emergence. The most common treatment for impaction is to extract (remove) one or more of the wisdom teeth. This is a routine in-office procedure that may be performed by general dentists or dental specialists.

It’s thought that perhaps 7 out of 10 people ages 20-30 have at least one impacted wisdom tooth. Some cause pain and need to be removed right away; however, this is not always the case. If a wisdom tooth is found to be impacted and is likely to result in future problems, it may be best to have it extracted before symptoms appear. Unfortunately, even with x-rays and other diagnostic tests, it isn’t always possible to predict exactly when—or if—the tooth will actually begin causing trouble. In some situations, the best option may be to carefully monitor the tooth at regular intervals and wait for a clearer sign of whether extraction is necessary.

So if you’re around the age when wisdom teeth are beginning to appear, make sure not to skip your routine dental appointments. That way, you might avoid emergency surgery when you’ve got other plans—like maybe your own world tour!

If you would like more information about wisdom tooth extraction, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”

By Jeffery J. Johnson & Jodi B. Johnson DDS
December 09, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: wisdom teeth  

As permanent teeth gradually replace primary (“baby”) teeth, most will come in by early adolescence. But the back third molars—the wisdom teeth—are often the last to the party, usually erupting between ages 18 and 24, and the source of possible problems.

This is because the wisdom teeth often erupt on an already crowded jaw populated by other teeth. As a result, they can be impacted, meaning they may erupt partially or not at all and remain largely below the gum surface.

An impacted tooth can impinge on its neighboring teeth and damage their roots or disrupt their protective gum attachment, all of which makes them more susceptible to tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease. Impacted teeth can also foster the formation of infected cysts that create areas of bone loss or painful infections in the gums of other teeth.

Even when symptoms like these aren’t present, many dentists recommend removing the wisdom teeth as a preemptive measure against future problems or disease. This often requires a surgical extraction: in fact, wisdom teeth removal is the most common oral surgical procedure.

But now there’s a growing consensus among dentists that removing or not removing wisdom teeth should depend on an individual’s unique circumstances. Patients who are having adverse oral health effects from impacted wisdom teeth should consider removing them, especially if they’ve already encountered dental disease. But the extraction decision isn’t as easy for patients with no current signs of either impaction or disease. That doesn’t mean their situation won’t change in the future.

One way to manage all these potentialities is a strategy called active surveillance. With this approach, patient and dentist keep a close eye on wisdom teeth development and possible signs of impaction or disease. Most dentists recommend carefully examining the wisdom teeth (including diagnostic x-rays and other imaging) every 24 months.

Following this strategy doesn’t mean the patient won’t eventually have their wisdom teeth removed, but not until there are clearer signs of trouble. But whatever the outcome might be, dealing properly with wisdom teeth is a high priority for preventing future oral health problems.

If you would like more information on wisdom teeth and their potential impact on dental health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Wisdom Teeth: Coming of Age May Come with a Dilemma.”

By Jeffery J. Johnson & Jodi B. Johnson DDS
April 01, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Via a recent Instagram post, pop diva Ariana Grande became the latest young celebrity to publicly acknowledge a dental milestone: having her wisdom teeth removed. The singer of hits such as “Break Free” and “Problem” posted an after-surgery picture of herself (wearing her signature cat-eye eyeliner), with a caption addressed to her teeth: “Peace out, final three wisdom teeth. It’s been real.”

With the post, Grande joined several other celebs (including Lily Allen, Paris Hilton and Emile Hirsch) who have shared their dental surgery experience with fans. Will "wisdom teeth removal" become a new trending topic on social media? We aren’t sure — but we can explain a bit about the procedure, and why many younger adults may need it.

Technically called the “third molars,” wisdom teeth usually begin to emerge from the gums between the ages of 17 and 25 — presumably, around the same time that a certain amount of wisdom emerges. Most people have four of these big molars, which are located all the way in the back of the mouth, on the left and right sides of the upper and lower jaws.

But when wisdom teeth begin to appear, there’s often a problem: Many people don’t have enough space in their jaws to accommodate them. When these molars lack sufficient space to fully erupt (emerge), they are said to be “impacted.” Impacted teeth can cause a number of serious problems: These may include pain, an increased potential for bacterial infections, periodontal disease, and even the formation of cysts (pockets of infection below the gum line), which can eventually lead to tooth and bone loss.

In most cases, the best treatment for impacted wisdom teeth is extraction (removal) of the problem teeth. Wisdom tooth extraction is a routine, in-office procedure that is usually performed under local anesthesia or “conscious sedation,” a type of anesthesia where the patient remains conscious (able to breathe normally and respond to stimuli), but is free from any pain or distress. Anti-anxiety medications may also be given, especially for those who are apprehensive about dental procedures.

So if you find you need your wisdom teeth extracted, don’t be afraid to “Break Free” like Ariana Grande did; whether you post the results on social media is entirely up to you. If you would like more information about wisdom tooth extraction, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”

By Jeffery J. Johnson & Jodi B. Johnson DDS
January 13, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: wisdom teeth  

Have questions about getting your wisdom teeth removed? We have answers!

Maybe your wisdom teeth have just started to come in or perhaps you’ve had them for a while but are unsure what to do about them. No Wisdom Teethmatter your situation your St. Louis, MO dentists Drs. Jeffery and Jodi Johnson can answer all your questions about wisdom teeth and why they should be removed.

Why do wisdom teeth need to be removed?

This third set of molars usually come in between the ages of 17 to 25 and your St. Louis general dentist may recommend getting them removed if:

  • They’re impacted: Since these teeth come in at the back of the mouth very rarely do they come in normally. Wisdom teeth are often impacted, meaning that they never fully erupt. This can often cause pain and other issues.
  • They are at a bad angle: Sometimes wisdom teeth come in crooked and press against other teeth, which can also cause damage.
  • There isn’t room in your mouth: There may not be enough room in your mouth for accommodating another set of teeth. Instead of causing issues like crowding and crookedness, these teeth will need to be removed.
  • You have a cavity: If you can’t get back into the molars to properly brush and floss this can increase your chances of decay or infection.

What should I expect during my dental consultation?

Before you get your wisdom teeth out you will meet with us. During your visit we will discuss any pre-existing health problems you may have, any drug allergies, current medications you’re taking, and the anesthesia (general, local or IV sedation) we’ll use. This is also your time to ask us any questions you may have about your upcoming surgery.

What is a wisdom tooth extraction like?

Once anesthesia has taken effect we will make incisions into the gums, remove any bone that may be covering the tooth and then break up the tooth into removable pieces. Once the tooth is removed and the area is cleaned we will stitch up the gums and place gauze over the area to reduce bleeding and to allow a blood clot to form. The whole process usually takes about 45 minutes or less.

What is the recovery process like?

We will give you a list of take-home instructions on how to care for your mouth as it heals. For the first day you’ll want to eat only soft foods and as you heal slowly start to incorporate more foods back into your diet. Your stitches may also dissolve within a few weeks, or you may need to come in to have them removed.

If you want to talk about your wisdom teeth and what the best course of action is for your smile, then it’s time to call our St. Louis dental office today to schedule a consultation.