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Puget Sound Pediatric Dentistry
Puget Sound Pediatric Dentistry

Wisdom Teeth Removal


girl with tooth pain waiting for wisdom tooth removal at Puget Sound Pediatric DentistryKnown as wisdom teeth due to their late eruption, they are the third and final set of molars to come in. For most patients, wisdom teeth should come in around the age of 18. The problem is, many patients soon realize that they simply do not have enough room in the back of their mouths for their wisdom teeth to fit. Our team at Puget Sound Pediatric Dentistry is happy to evaluate and watch the growth of this third set of molars and then offer advice during your regular checkup.

In general, the first set of molars erupt around age six and the second set of molars come in around age 12. The wisdom teeth typically erupt at around the age of 18, but for many people, the teeth become impacted and are unable to move out through the gums at all. Patients may find that as their wisdom teeth try to push through the gums, they will experience pain or even develop an infection, or they may find that neighboring teeth get shoved out of position. In severe cases, the wisdom teeth have caused some patients damage to their nearby teeth or in rare circumstances result in permanent nerve damage.

Why should I consider having my wisdom teeth removed?


Recently, the subject of whether wisdom teeth being removed is ideal has become a question. Some topics that should be considered when questioning include:

•  Timing: Not everyone will need to have their wisdom teeth removed, but studies indicate that about 75-80% of people will have them removed in their lifetime. Timing can make a difference on how serious or painful the process will be. The longer you keep your wisdom teeth, the longer the roots will grow, and in many cases the roots will curl or form a hook shape making it more difficult and painful to pull. Young adults report a much easier healing process than older adults.
•  Subject to Decay: Healthy wisdom teeth means that there is sufficient room for them to fully erupt and be in the correct alignment. Though even if they meet this criteria, wisdom teeth are more subject to decay due to their positioning. Patients often find it difficult to brush and floss their wisdom teeth properly because they are difficult to get to.
•  Partial Eruption can be Problematic: If your wisdom teeth have only erupted partially, you may experience some large problems. A gum pocket can allow food and bacteria to get caught which can then cause infection and severe pain. Problems include pain, stiffness, fever, nausea, vomiting and swelling. Additionally, when teeth are impacted, they can twist sideways, turn at odd angles, or even be entirely backwards.

•  Disrupt Neighboring Teeth: When your wisdom teeth erupt, the pressure of them coming in can cause the other teeth nearby to move. This can cause large changes to your bite and disturb any previous orthodontia work.


Examining The Wisdom Teeth


Part of your child’s regular dental visit will include an evaluation of their wisdom teeth and how their development and positioning is going. We can provide recommendations on whether or not we think your wisdom teeth might become a problem in the future and whether you should consider extraction. To examine them, we like to review their oral structure using a panoramic digital radiograph. Research has shown that early intervention will allow for fewer complications following surgery, so we will start evaluating you during your mid-teen years to see how your wisdom teeth are progressing.

When your wisdom teeth are removed, you will typically be sedated so that you can be as comfortable as possible throughout the procedure. We can discuss all sedation options prior to extraction. All of our surgeons have the specialized licenses, education, training and experience needed to sedate patients prior to oral surgery. As always, we will use your consultation to discuss the procedure and any surgical risks so that you know exactly what to expect when you go to have your wisdom teeth removed.

If your dentist has advised that you get your wisdom teeth removed in the near future, please call us to set up your consultation. We will thoroughly explain the surgery so you can fully explore your options for successful removal of your wisdom teeth.

We Look Forward To Meeting You



Our front office staff is happy to discuss our services with you. Our dentists are here to serve your children and teens. For more information, contact one of our multiple Seattle area offices.



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