By the age of eighteen, the average adult has 32 teeth; 16 teeth on the top and 16 teeth on the bottom. Sometimes the jaw is large enough to accomodate them. However, this is not the case with many people. Often there is not enough room in the mouth for the last tooth in each corner. These four teeth are the third molars, also known as “wisdom teeth.” If one or more of these third molars fails to emerge in proper alignment or become entrapped or “impacted” between the jawbone and the gum tissue, an extraction is required.
Impacted wisdom teeth can result in swelling, pain, and infection of the gum tissue surrounding the wisdom teeth. In addition, impacted wisdom teeth can cause permanent damage to nearby teeth, gums, and bone. Wisdom teeth can sometimes lead to the formation of cysts or tumors that can destroy sections of the jaw. Therefore, it is often recommend that impacted wisdom teeth be surgically removed.
Dental Implant Surgery
If you have a tooth or teeth that are missing, a dental implant may be recommended. After determining that you are a good candidate for dental implants, the oral surgeon will decide which type of implant is right for your treatment. The anchor of the implant is surgically implanted in the jaw and the bone is then allowed to fuse around it for a period of several weeks. After the implant has taken root, an artificial tooth is created and fitted to the post of the implant.
Bone grafting is performed to reverse the bone loss caused by periodontal disease, trauma, or ill fitting removable dentures. It can be used to augment the size of the bone to permit implant placement or to enhance the fit and comfort of removable dentures. When one loses a tooth, the surrounding bone collapses. To preserve this bone for future implant placement or for esthetics, a bone graft is used.