Wisdom Teeth

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.”

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.

Wisdom Teeth Presentation

To provide you with a better understanding of wisdom teeth, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to wisdom teeth are discussed.

Wisdom Teeth Presentation

Oral Examination

With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, the doctors of Iowa Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, PC can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and determine if there is enough space for proper eruption and predict if there 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. The doctors of Iowa Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, PC have the training and experience to provide various types of anesthesia and to help guide you in selecting the one most appropriate for your procedure.


In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under local anesthesia, laughing gas (nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia) or intravenous anesthesia. These options, as well as the risks, alternatives, benefits, and potential complications of your planned procedure will be thoroughly discussed with you during your consultation. If you have any questions or concerns, please notify our office.

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

Iowa Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, PC

5 out of 5 stars based on 2 Wisdom Teeth reviews.

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I was exceptionally nervous for my wisdom teeth removal, but the only bad part that I remember was them putting in the IV (I really don't like needles). The whole procedure passed instantaneously, and the aftermath wasn't bad at all! I was sore, and my jaw was swollen to about twice its normal size, but the bleeding stopped within the day and the pain was almost nonexistent (I only used like 5 of the prescribed extra strength ibuprofen). I was even able to go out drinking with my friends two days after the procedure (I was off the meds by that point and only had a drink or two anyway). The only pain point of the ordeal is that they don't seem to have a way to pay your bill online, which is slightly inconvenient. Other than that I couldn't complain, since my experience with wisdom teeth removal seems to have been the best when compared to any of my friends'.

- Joseph S

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Nice place would recommend

- Benjamin L

5 out of 5 stars on