Wisdom Teeth

Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Wisdom teeth are the upper and lower third molars located at the very back of the mouth. Wisdom teeth generally grow in between the ages of 17 and 21, which is why they’re called “wisdom” teeth. At that age, young people are inclined to have gained some wisdom. Wisdom teeth can cause a plethora of oral health problems, but how and why should you have your wisdom teeth removed?

Wisdom teeth can begin causing oral health problems as young as 15 and as late at 25 years old. It is recommended to have them removed while younger because bone tissues are softer and complications from extraction are lower. Here are a few frequently asked questions concerning wisdom teeth.

Do I have to have my wisdom teeth taken out? In the past, wisdom teeth– much like the appendix– were removed preemptively before they could cause any other health problems. Currently, many dentists are more conservative about wisdom teeth extractions and may only recommend they are removed when they have begun to cause secondary oral problems, or if x-rays have shown that they will cause a problem when they begin to grow in.

What are some signs that I will need to have my wisdom teeth removed? Wisdom teeth can cause pain or stiffness in the jaw when they become impacted. Other symptoms include infection, crowding of other teeth, tooth decay and gum disease. Because wisdom teeth are located so far in the back of the mouth they are often difficult to brush effectively and subsequently decay.

What does it mean when wisdom teeth are “impacted”? Wisdom teeth are considered impacted when they try to grow in but are trapped in the jaw because there isn’t enough space for them in the mouth, this is a very common issue.

How are wisdom teeth removed? Wisdom teeth extraction is an oral surgery performed on an out-patient basis under one of three types of anesthesia. Patients may either receive a local anesthetic in the form of injection into the mouth to block the nerves that transmit pain, sedation (used in combination with a local anesthetic) by inhaling nitrous oxide (laughing gas), or general anesthesia which is administered intravenously. General anesthesia is often reserved for patients who are removing all 4 wisdom teeth at one time.

Oral Surgery in Toccoa

If you would like to learn more about oral surgery or any other dental treatments, contact Wilbanks Smile Center today and schedule your consultation. Our offices are located in Toccoa, GA, and we can be reached at 706-886-9439. We look forward to hearing from you.



5 Dental Myths Debunked

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Healthy teeth make for a healthy body. As more and more research proves that dental health can have a strong impact on your overall health, it’s important to know that some commonly held beliefs regarding dental health may actually be hurting you. Learn what’s right and wrong for your teeth by exploring some common dental myths, debunked.

  1. Teeth whitening will destroy tooth enamel. In-home teeth whitening kits generally contain less than 3% of active ingredients, so moderate use of such products will typically not harm teeth. However, in-office procedures are the safest form of teeth whitening and will produce the best results.
  2. Only mouthwash containing alcohol is effective. Mouthwash containing alcohol has been linked to oral cancer since the 1970s. Alcohol dehydrates the mouth and teeth, which can lead to additional oral health issues.
  3. Everyone has to have their wisdom teeth removed. Wisdom teeth are like the tonsils or appendix because through evolution, they have become non-essential to human health. However, just as not every child  has his or her tonsils removed, not every child has to have his or her wisdom teeth removed. Unless wisdom teeth are causing pain, they can remain in the mouth.
  4. Silver cavity fillings are safe. This is actually contrary to research findings. Silver fillings contain more than 50% mercury. Mercury that leaks out of silver fillings over time has been linked to auto-immune diseases, mental disorders, and neurological disorders. If you have silver fillings, it is recommended seeing your dentist to have them replaced with tooth-colored fillings.
  5. Eating sugar is the main cause of cavities. Sugar has a bad reputation in regards to health, but it is not the main cause of cavities.  Acid is the major culprit when it comes to tooth decay and the formulation of cavities. Acid and saliva mix together to produce the plaque-causing agents that cause cavities.

Dental Care in Toccoa

If you’re ready to learn more about your dental health, contact us today and schedule a consultation.  Our offices are located in Toccoa, GA, and we can be reached at 706-886-9439.  We look forward to serving you.

Don't Ignore Your Wisdom Teeth

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Many people choose to ignore their wisdom teeth until they are in severe pain or require surgery. But ignoring wisdom teeth issues isn’t wise and they should be dealt with as soon as they appear – and most often, only your dentist can spot the first signs of potential wisdom tooth complications.

Wisdom teeth, or the third molars situated at the very back of the mouth, get their moniker from the fact that they usually begin to sprout in the late teen years or early 20s for most people, usually between the ages of 17 and 25.

By keeping up with annual dental exams and getting regular cleanings twice a year, patients allow their dentist to monitor any dental changes. That way, whether a wisdom tooth is beginning to erupt or a fully-formed wisdom tooth is starting to move in a way that could cause problems in an adult’s jaw, the dentist will be able to assess the situation and determine the best course of action.

Possible complications caused by wisdom teeth include when the tooth is impacted, or when it does not grow in the right direction. Impacted wisdom teeth are especially common in the lower jaw, and because they are unable to break through the gum line, they put pressure onto neighboring teeth, causing pain and even damage.

In some cases, wisdom teeth are able to partially break through your gums, but do not erupt all the way through. This creates a small opening in the gums where food particles can get stuck, which attracts bacteria and can lead to infection. Infected gums are red, swollen and painful, and a partially erupted wisdom tooth can cause the area to become continuously re-infected and inflamed.

A wisdom tooth can also grow into the jawbone, which can cause damage to adjacent teeth’s roots and nerves. This condition can also damage the jawbone’s structure and even affect a person’s bite and jaw alignment. Dental x-rays will determine a wisdom tooth’s placement and development, so if you’re experiencing pain or discomfort in your back molars, see a dentist right away.

Wisdom Tooth Extraction in Toccoa

To learn more about wisdom tooth complications and how they can be treated, contact us today and schedule your consultation. Our offices are located in Toccoa, GA, and we can be reached at 706-886-9439. We look forward to hearing from you.

5 Reasons to Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Wisdom teeth extraction facts from Wilbanks Smile CenterWe’ve all heard about wisdom teeth, and many of us have probably had them removed.  For some, however, the question still lingers — what exactly are wisdom teeth, and why do they need to be removed?  Simply, wisdom teeth are our third set of hindmost molars, and they typically begin to grow in between the ages of 17 and 25.  In some situations, they can simply be left alone; however, this is not always the case.   For many, wisdom teeth present problems with that require the surgical removal of 1 or more of them. These cases are significantly more common, with the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) estimating that nearly 85% of all wisdom teeth will require extraction.  So what are some of the factors that necessitate the removal of wisdom teeth?  Keep reading to find out.

5 Reasons to Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

  1. Small jaw. If your jaw is not large enough, wisdom teeth can become impacted, leaving them unable to break through your gums.
  2. Gums. Wisdom teeth may partially break through your gums, creating a small flap out of gum tissue where food and germs can get stuck.  This can cause your gums to become infected, leaving them red, swollen, and painful.
  3. Impacted teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause a number of different problems, like cysts, infection, and damage to other teeth or bones. Not all impacted teeth require extraction, however, and removal is typically dependent on the severity of the case.
  4. Angle. In some cases, wisdom teeth grow in at an angle, with the tops facing forward, backward, or to the side.
  5. Side effects. If wisdom teeth grow in incorrectly, break through the gum, or remain impacted, there can be a number of uncomfortable or painful side effects. Some of these include swelling around the jaw, an unpleasant taste in the mouth, headache, jaw ache, difficulty opening your mouth, or swollen lymph nodes in the neck. In some cases, even the jawbone or other teeth may be affected.

Wisdom Teeth Extraction in Toccoa

To learn more about wisdom teeth extraction, contact us today and schedule your consultation.  Our offices are located in Toccoa, GA, and we can be reached at 706-886-9439.  We look forward to hearing from you.

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