Wisdom Teeth

By the age of 18, the average adult has 32 teeth – 16 teeth on the top and 16 teeth on the bottom – each with a specific name and function. Unfortunately it can be painful when 32 teeth try to fit in a mouth. The back four teeth are your third molars, also known as “wisdom teeth.”


Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

It is necessary to remove the wisdom teeth when they don’t properly erupt within the mouth. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum, and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone, causing many problems.

Problems Caused By Wisdom Teeth

When they are partially erupted, the opening around the teeth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection resulting in swelling, stiffness, pain, and illness. The pressure from the erupting wisdom teeth may move other teeth and disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment of teeth. The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Removal of the offending impacted teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.

Oral Examination

With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, Dr. Rawlinson can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there are present or may be future problems. 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.


All outpatient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia – local anesthesia, laughing gas (nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia) or general anesthesia – to maximize patient comfort. Dr. Rawlinson has the training, license and experience to provide various types of anesthesia for patients to select the best alternative. These options and any possible surgical risks (i.e., sensory nerve damage, sinus complications), will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed. Once the procedure is complete you will rest under our supervision in the office until you are ready to be taken home.

Upon discharge, your postoperative kit will include postoperative instructions, a prescriptions for pain medication and antibiotics (if necessary), and extra gauze. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at  843-947-0017.

Our services are provided in an environment of optimum safety that utilizes modern monitoring equipment and staff who are experienced in anesthesia techniques.

More About Wisdom Teeth

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