Wisdom Teeth | Great Falls

What Are Wisdom Teeth? | Why Remove Wisdom Teeth? | Oral Exam and Consult | Wisdom Teeth Removal | Patient Reviews

By the age of 18, the average adult has 32 teeth; 16 teeth on the top and 16 teeth on the bottom. Each tooth in the mouth has a specific name and function. The teeth in the front of the mouth (incisors, canine, and bicuspid teeth) are ideal for grasping and biting food into smaller pieces. The back teeth (molar teeth) are used to grind food up into a consistency suitable for swallowing.

The average mouth is made to hold only 28 teeth. It can be painful when 32 teeth try to fit in a mouth that holds only 28 teeth. These four other teeth are your third molars, also known as “wisdom teeth.”

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Call us with any questions or to make an appointment with our experienced Oral Surgeons, Dr. Steven Whitney, Dr. Daniel Whitney, or Dr. Trent Clifton.

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What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Third molars are commonly referred to as wisdom teeth. They are usually the last teeth to develop and are located in the back of your mouth, behind your second molars. Their development is usually completed between the middle teenage years and early twenties, a time traditionally associated with the onset of maturity and the attainment of wisdom.

Video: About Wisdom Teeth



Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. When they align properly and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not generally happen. The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum, and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as they attempt to find a pathway that will allow them to successfully erupt.

These poorly positioned impacted teeth can cause many problems. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the teeth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The result: 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. S. Whitney, Dr. D. Whitney and Dr. T. Clifton 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 to maximize patient comfort. Dr. S. Whitney, Dr. D. Whitney and Dr. T. Clifton have the training, license and experience to provide various types of anesthesia for patients to select the best alternative.

Teeth Removal

In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under local anesthesia, laughing gas (nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia) or general anesthesia. These options, as well as the surgical risks (i.e., sensory nerve damage, sinus complications), will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed.

Once the teeth are removed, the gum is sutured. To help control bleeding, bite down on the gauze placed in your mouth. 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 prescription for pain medication, antibiotics, and a follow-up appointment in one week for suture removal. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at Northern Montana Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Great Falls Office Phone Number 406-727-4322.

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

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Patient Reviews: Wisdom Teeth Removal

Please read testimonials from our patients, below. If you wish to rate your experience with Northern Montana Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, we invite you to fill out an online patient review.

You may also read and write patient reviews on our Google listing.

For more information, or to make an appointment with Dr. S. Whitney, Dr. D. Whitney and Dr. T. Clifton, please use our Appointment Request form or call our office: Northern Montana Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Great Falls Office Phone Number 406-727-4322.

Northern Montana Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

5 out of 5 stars based on 5 Wisdom Teeth reviews.

Patient Testimonial from Caleb H

Great service

- Caleb H

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial from Tina M

I’m very impressed overall for all that Doctor Whitney’s done in the community as well as the excellent care he gave me. Very willing to recommend him to anyone who needs surgery or care that he provides.

- Tina M

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial from Corey C

Had a great experince

- Corey C

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial from Derrick B

very much recommended. everybody here was polite and helpful. the staff team knew what they were doing and helped me as best as they can

- Derrick B

5 out of 5 stars on

Patient Testimonial from Diana L

The Doctor was friendly and willing to talk to me. I have never had any form of surgery where I have been awake,so having this surgery made me scared and anxious. I asked his assistant for the laughing gas and she was happy and willing to make it happen. He told me what he was doing and he even laughed a few times as we talked,which made the situation calming. The surgery was fast, but at the same time I did not feel like he was working an assembly line and in a hurry to do the next patient. I did not have to sit in my room for along period of time waiting for him. All in all it was a good experience.

- Diana L

5 out of 5 stars on

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