Don’t Let Your Wisdom Teeth Stick Around

Don’t Let Your Wisdom Teeth Stick Around

by Steve Gamel

Local Oral Surgeon Preaches Early Removal To Offset Future Problems

Dr. John Shillingburg remembers the days when there wasn’t as much of a rush to remove wisdom teeth. Yes, wisdom teeth have long been known to be a potential cause for a myriad of dental problems such as gum disease and tooth decay, but if a patient wasn’t in pain, it was entirely reasonable for dentists to use the “wait and see” approach.

As time went on and more technology and research became available, many professionals – and patients – quickly changed their tune. If deemed appropriate by a surgical specialist, early wisdom teeth extraction is the key to avoiding potential problems before they take root.

“Between 14 and 16 is typically the ideal age to remove wisdom teeth,” said Dr. Shillingburg, a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon at DFW Oral Surgeons in Flower Mound. “I had a mother come in recently, and she thought it was too early for her son [who is 18 years old] to have his wisdom teeth removed. In actuality, he was at a higher risk than if he were younger.

Dr. Shillingburg added, “Early removal often means fewer complications and a quicker recovery.”

So what’s the trouble with wisdom teeth? Most people have four wisdom teeth – one in each corner of the mouth – and they are the last of our teeth to develop. The problem is many people’s jaws are too small for wisdom teeth to grow in properly. This means they can create overcrowding and grow in any direction. It can lead to pain, infection, cysts, gum disease, decay in the wisdom teeth and nearby teeth, and interference with certain kinds of dental or orthodontic work.

If your wisdom teeth are causing pain or infection, your dentist will likely advise removing them. Even if you
don’t have any symptoms, removal may still be recommended.

There are two main reasons to have this procedure done at a young age. The first is that a younger teenager’s wisdom teeth are still forming below the gum line, as opposed to someone much older whose wisdom teeth may have erupted and display more solid roots. By age 40, for example, the roots of the wisdom teeth are solidly anchored in the bone and create a more difficult procedure. The second reason is that younger people naturally heal faster, leading to shorter recovery times.

“What you see is the kids are recovering easier whereas someone in their 20s or older will often take twice as long,” Shillingburg said. “Young teenagers might only need three or four days of healing. It’s a much faster recovery time.”

Summertime is typically a busy time for Dr. Shillingburg and his staff, who see quite a few patients taking advantage of the time away from school to have their wisdom teeth removed. They choose DFW Oral Surgeons because Shillingburg is the best at what he does. He is trained and credentialed in the following:

  • dentoalveolar surgery
  • facial cosmetic surgery
  • dental implant surgery
  • orthognathic surgery
  • facial reconstructive oral surgery
  • dental anesthesiology

Dr. Shillingburg also holds membership with the American Dental Association and is a Diplomate of both the
American Dental Society of Anesthesiology and American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

Not only is there a prominent doctor leading the cause, but DFW Oral Surgeons also has the distinction of being a true outpatient surgery center capable of diagnosing and treating any mouth or jaw condition. This makes the facility’s professional standards and patient care head and shoulders above the competition.

Why choose anyone else for your dental needs? Dr. Shillingburg and DFW Oral Surgeons is the wise choice. “My focus is on the patient’s safety – every time,” Shillingburg said. “We are compassionate, caring, and competent. And we are specialists.”

972.539.1491 | | 4421 Long Prairie Rd., Ste. 100 | Flower Mound, TX 75028

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