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Wisdom Teeth

James P. McMenamin, DMD -  - Maxillofacial Surgeon

James P. McMenamin, DMD

Maxillofacial Surgeon & Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon located in Warren, NJ

Even though they’re supposed to signify that you’re finally wise, your wisdom teeth can be more of a burden than their worth. If you need to have your wisdom teeth extracted, James McMenamin, DMD, can help. Dr. McMenamin is a highly skilled oral surgeon who performs safe and effective wisdom tooth extractions at his practice in Warren, New Jersey. Request an appointment today by calling the office or using the online tool today.

Wisdom Teeth Q & A

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are your third set of molars. They’re in the very back of your mouth and typically emerge in your late teens or early 20s.

Many peoples’ wisdom teeth don’t emerge properly, either getting stuck entirely or partially below their gumline or in their jawbone. A wisdom tooth that doesn’t fully emerge is “impacted.” Impacted wisdom teeth can lead to a variety of health complications, so most people typically get theirs pulled.

Why do we have wisdom teeth?

Our early ancestors needed wisdom teeth to chew their food properly. Their diets were different from ours, consisting of a lot of uncooked and tougher foods.

Our ability to quickly cook our food and cut it into small, bite-size pieces means that we don’t need to spend as much time and energy chewing it, so our wisdom teeth are less needed than they once were.

As we’ve continued to evolve, some people no longer get their wisdom teeth. The vast majority of the population does, however, and since our jaws have also evolved to become slightly smaller, most of us don’t have room in our mouths for the extra teeth.

Why do I need to extract my wisdom teeth?

Impacted wisdom teeth can create several problems for your oral health. If there isn’t enough room in your mouth for your wisdom teeth, they can push up against the rest of your teeth, causing crowding, damaging their neighboring teeth, and ending up misaligned.

Wisdom teeth that partially emerge through your gums also make your mouth more susceptible to gum disease. By breaking through your gum tissue only part of the way, an impacted wisdom tooth creates nooks and crannies in your gum tissue that collect infectious debris.

Removing your wisdom teeth can save you from more costly and painful procedures down the line.

What happens in a wisdom tooth extraction?

Depending on the extent of your impaction and your personal preference, Dr. McMenamin sedates you with any one of the following anesthesias or a combination of them:

  • Local anesthesia
  • IV sedation
  • General anesthesia

Once you’re sedated or unconscious, he makes a precise surgical incision in your gum and removes your tooth. In some cases, he might break up your tooth into smaller pieces before removing it.

When the tooth is out, he sews up the incision area and applies gauze to stop the bleeding. He sends you home with clear aftercare instructions so that you can recover as quickly as possible.

Schedule your wisdom tooth consultation with Dr. McMenamin today by calling the office or Requesting an appointment with the online scheduling tool.