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Wisdom Teeth Specialist

Millennium Park Oral Surgery

Oral Surgeon located in Chicago, IL

As an oral surgeon, Dr. Lawrence Zager with Millennium Park Oral Surgery in Chicago, Illinois regularly performs wisdom teeth extractions.

Wisdom Teeth Q & A

What are Wisdom Teeth?

They are the last molars to form in your body. Typically, they erupt between ages of 16-25 years.

Why get your wisdom teeth extracted?

Since wisdom teeth are the last to come in, often they crowd the other teeth, or they can’t erupt through the gum because there is no room for them. For some individuals, the wisdom teeth never erupt and become impacted in the jaw or sinus.

They sit so far in the back; they are very difficult to clean well, too. They can decay quickly leading to exposure or infection of the tooth, nerve canal, adjacent teeth, and sinus. Since they’re hard to see, you can’t always tell there is a problem with your wisdom teeth. They might be causing damage to the other teeth, through gum or bacterial infections, without you even knowing it.

Sometimes, there are tumors or cysts that are forming from impacted teeth; these should be removed as soon as possible to minimize bone loss nerve damage and allow for a simpler recovery.

When should you get your wisdom teeth out?

Dr. Zager recommends a consultation to determine if it is appropriate to remove the wisdom teeth or not. This is based on the age of the patient, the position of the developing wisdom teeth, the health of the adjacent teeth or missing teeth. It takes time for newly erupted teeth to fully form and attach, too. Every person is an individual, and that person may benefit with the retention of his or her wisdom teeth.

How do you know if you need the teeth pulled?

Ignoring issues like fractured teeth or tooth infections...

You may not experience any symptoms, which is why it is important to see your dentist at least once a year. By the time you do notice a problem, your wisdom teeth may have contributed to dental disease or pathology.

In general, if you notice jaw pain, swelling towards the back of your mouth or you can feel a partially erupted tooth, give Dr. Zager a call. Partially erupted teeth get infected easily and can lead to gum disease or other serious problems, such as heart problems, joint damage, and systemic infections. An abscessed tooth or untreated cavity can allow bacteria into the bloodstream where it can infect major organs, joints and recently implanted knee/hip joints. Patients who have an ongoing heart problem or who are immunosuppressed due to chemotherapy or illness must be diligent about their oral health and see the dentist regularly.

Check with Dr. Zager about any existing health conditions or treatments, such as controlled diabetes, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or in-vitro fertilization that may interfere with extraction. It’s important to get your wisdom teeth out promptly to avoid any complications.