Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, develop later than the rest of the permanent teeth. Though some wisdom teeth grow in without issue, most people’s mouths are too small to accommodate third molars without complications. Often, it is impossible to detect wisdom teeth without an X-ray or 3D scan because they remain beneath the surface of the gums. We recommend scheduling a consultation to identify wisdom teeth early and avoid oral health problems later on. Dr. Collins has been removing wisdom teeth at our practice in Conway, Arkansas, for over two decades, so you can rest assured that you or your child will be in excellent hands with our surgical team.
When Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?
Most dental professionals recommend removing wisdom teeth early (usually by the mid-teen to late teen years) to avoid complications like impacted teeth, tooth crowding, and even infection. Early removal has also been shown to improve the patient’s experience and recovery time. Often, it is easier to remove wisdom teeth when they have not fully developed.
Your Wisdom Teeth Removal Consultation
Before your procedure, Dr. Collins will perform a thorough oral examination and discuss your options for anesthesia during the treatment. Dr. Collins will review your individual situation and may take additional scans to confirm the exact location and size of your wisdom teeth. He will also take note of the relationship your wisdom teeth have with the other structures of your mouth, such as your nerves and adjacent healthy teeth. He will use this information to create the best possible treatment plan for your particular situation.
Anesthesia and Wisdom Teeth Removal
As a medical doctor, licensed dentist, and board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Collins has an extensive amount of experience administering anesthesia and monitoring his patients throughout treatment. Our office and surgical staff have all the necessary monitoring equipment and training to ensure your procedure is as comfortable as possible. We also employ a CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist) to assist Dr. Collins in delivering your anesthesia.
A few of the anesthesia types we offer include:
- Local Anesthesia, which completely numbs the area of surgery.
- Nitrous Oxide (also known as laughing gas), which can be used to reduce anxiety or calm the patient before the procedure.
- Intravenous (IV) Sedation, which allows the patient to fall into a deep sleep-like state and wake up once the procedure is over.
- General Anesthesia, which allows the patient to be totally asleep the entire procedure.
You may choose a single sedation method or a combination of anesthetic options for your treatment. IV sedation combined with local anesthesia is a preferred option for many patients undergoing wisdom teeth removal. Dr. Collins will take your overall health and your preferences into account when planning your treatment. You and your oral surgeon will determine an anesthesia option ahead of time, during your consultation procedure. Our CRNA, Dr. Collins, and the entire surgical team strive to make your experience as safe and comfortable as possible.
How Wisdom Teeth Are Removed
Wisdom teeth removal is an outpatient procedure, and the healing time is usually no more than a few days. The extent of your surgery will depend on the number of wisdom teeth present, the position of the tooth or teeth, and the stage of development. Dr. Collins will make a small incision into the gums and carefully remove any bone that is covering the tooth. Once the tooth is exposed, he will extract the tooth. Sometimes, the tooth will be extracted in small pieces to minimize the amount of bone and gum tissue that is removed. Once the extraction is complete, the gums will be sutured — usually with dissolvable sutures — and the surgery will be complete.
Wisdom teeth consultations and removal can be performed in the comfort of our operating suite in Conway, AR.
If your dentist has recommended you have your wisdom teeth removed, or if you would like to know whether your wisdom teeth pose a risk to your oral health, contact our office to schedule a consultation. Dr. Collins and our skilled team will ensure that you receive the best possible care from your initial appointment to your final post-operative visit.