One of the most challenging oral areas to keep clean are the posterior teeth, especially the third molars. These teeth typically appear after reaching 18 years or older, but may also appear earlier. Often times, wisdom teeth develop in an irregular fashion (impacted) and consequently may never properly erupt, severely crowding existing teeth.
Some patients experience significant pain during this eruption process. As these teeth are located at the back of the mouth, the region is hard to reach, floss and brush, often leading to extensive caries. Swelling, redness and gum tenderness typically accompany the process. In addition, periodontal disease often forms around impacted teeth, and may lead to recurring infection. The accompanying discomfort can have implications for the patient’s ability to eat, drink and speak properly.
Impacted third molars should ideally be removed in one visit as this serves to minimize the inconvenience associated with multiple visits as well as ongoing distress for the patient. The healing process begins immediately, and the patient is given simple to follow directions for home care to accelerate recovery.