Wisdom Teeth Extractions

By the age of eighteen, 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, canines and bicuspid teeth) are ideal for grasping and biting food into smaller pieces. The back teeth, or molar teeth, are used to grind food into a consistency suitable for swallowing. As recently as the early 1900s, early loss of molar teeth to dental decay was quite common. In these instances the third molar or wisdom teeth which develop in adolescence would erupt and serve as a molar replacement. With the advent of fluoridated water and improvements in dental care, however, early loss of the molar teeth is much less frequent in our time and the majority of patients do not have room for proper eruption or positioning of the third molars.

Why Should I Remove My Wisdom Teeth?

Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed! When they erupt and align properly and the surrounding gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Many patients come for a consultation expecting removal and our doctors recommend saving them.

However, research has shown that the majority of wisdom teeth will have problems and need to be removed. Pain, infection, cavities, periodontal disease, and bone loss are the most common complications from wisdom teeth. When they occur, they affect not only the wisdom teeth, but other teeth as well. In many instances, they act like "bad apples" that can spoil the health of other teeth and tissues. The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom tooth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Dr. Reuter and Dr. Thompson will make the best recommendation based on the evidence and your unique anatomy.

Removing the wisdom teeth at the appropriate time reduces the risks of surgery. Proper timing can also lead to a better recovery. Dr. Reuter and Dr. Thompson will discuss with you how to minimize risks and optimize the surgical timing.

Third Molar Consult

With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, our team can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there may be present or future problems. Studies have shown that early evaluation and appropriate timing result in a superior outcome for the patient. Patients are generally first evaluated in the early to mid- teenage years by their dentist, orthodontist or by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.


Our highest priorities in caring for you are SAFETY and COMFORT. In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under IV/General anesthesia (going to sleep). Dr. Reuter and Dr. Thompson have extensive training, licenses and experience to provide various types of anesthesia for patients. Anesthetic options and surgical risks will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed. Our facility and team have the highest level of patient protocols and experience and our team has an impeccable record of safety.

Once the teeth are removed, the gum tissue may be sutured. At the conclusion of the surgery, you will bite down on gauze to aid in hemostasis. You will rest under our supervision in the office until you are ready to be taken home. Upon discharge, your post-operative kit will include postoperative instructions, a prescription for pain medication, a packet of sterile gauze, and a follow-up appointment. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at (941) 365-3388.

Please contact our office with any questions you might have.

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