Oral surgery encompasses a range of procedures including extractions, removal of cysts and polyps, and biopsies.
Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that most people get in their late teens or early twenties. Wisdom teeth can present potential problems when they are misaligned or impacted.
The removal, or extraction, of wisdom teeth is generally recommended when:
- The jaw isn’t large enough to allow all the wisdom teeth to fully erupt in an alignment that is useful for chewing and crushing food.
- The teeth have only partially erupted. This can cause an infection which results in pain, swelling, jaw stiffness, and general illness. Partially erupted teeth are also more prone to tooth decay and gum disease because their awkward positioning makes brushing and flossing difficult.
- Poor alignment of wisdom teeth crowds or damages adjacent teeth, the jawbone, or nerves. Wisdom teeth that lean toward the second molars make those teeth more vulnerable to decay by entrapping plaque and debris.
- Cysts (fluid-filled sacs) form or have the potential to form. Cysts destroy surrounding teeth, jawbone, and nerves. If untreated, a tumor could develop from the walls of the cysts, requiring a more complicated surgical procedure for removal.