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123 South 3rd Ave., Ste. 4
Sandpoint, ID 83864
208-255-5667 | fax 208-255-5665
1859 N Lakewood Dr., #101
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
208-667-5565 | fax 208-765-9633

Wisdom Teeth Extraction

It can be painful when 32 teeth try to fit in a mouth that can hold only 28 teeth. These four extra teeth are your third molars, also known as “wisdom teeth.” During adolescence the roots of the wisdom teeth begin to develop and can grow into the jaw nerve or sinus and push against the adjacent second molar teeth.

These malpositioned impacted teeth can cause many problems. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the tooth allows food and bacteria to grow and will often cause an infection. The result is pain, swelling, stiffness and illness. The pressure from the erupting wisdom tooth may move other teeth, give pressure symptoms or may worsen crowding of teeth, even after orthodontic treatment. The cell lining around the impacted wisdom tooth can grow into a tumor or cyst, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone or other healthy teeth. Removal of the impacted tooth or teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended (before the roots are fully grown) to simplify the procedure, decrease the surgical risk of nerve injury or sinus opening and avoid future problems.

With an oral examination and x-ray images, Dr. Cullum can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and advise you of present or potential 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- teen years by your dentist, orthodontist or at our office if you desire.

In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. These options, as well as surgical risks, will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed. Once the teeth are removed, you will rest under our supervision, until discharged, at which time you will be provided with pain medication and instructions for a smooth recovery.

Dr. Cullum and his staff make every effort to make your experience a positive one. We have carefully developed treatment protocols to facilitate optimal comfort, function and recovery. Relax and be assured of our commitment to excellence. Patients thank us daily for their care, with comments like “It was easy!” and “It was nothing at all like I thought.”