For many people, maintaining regular dental visits without the urgency of a major issue or severe pain forcing them in is oftentimes difficult due to busy schedules, or the cost and anxiety associated with oral procedures. However, neglecting necessary oral work over time can lead to irreversible long-term damage that can ultimately become costly and create added stress. One common procedure that many often avoid unless pain becomes unbearable is wisdom tooth extraction. A safe and routine procedure that is commonly performed on patients between the ages of 17-25, wisdom tooth extraction is necessary when there is not enough room in the mouth for the wisdom teeth to develop correctly. Oftentimes, when wisdom teeth grow but do not break through the gums, they are said to be “impacted,” which can cause serious long-term health and dental problems, including periodontal disease, dental crowding or shifting, and tumors that can result in irreparable damage to the jawbone and healthy teeth.
The good news is these problems are 100 percent avoidable with the assistance of an experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon, who can remove wisdom teeth early in their development before any problems arise. General dentists typically refer patients to oral surgeons since wisdom teeth extractions are complicated and can present issues regarding the application of general anesthesia, which is where the extensive training that oral surgeons have undergone proves valuable.
Wisdom teeth extractions are routine for oral and maxillofacial surgeons like Dr. Michael D. Harris, MD, DDS, who specializes in all aspects of oral and facial surgery at Utah Surgical Arts. “Throughout my career, I have performed this surgical procedure on patients of all ages,” said Dr. Harris. “Having experienced firsthand the anxiety and discomfort that my patients come in with prior to having their wisdom teeth extracted, I always make it my primary goal to ensure that each patient’s concerns are adequately addressed, and that every patient receives the highest quality of care before, during and after the procedure.”
The wisdom tooth removal procedure begins with incisions made in the gum tissue in the rear of the jaw in order to expose the wisdom tooth. The incisions and removal of the tooth need to be made with the utmost care and precaution in order to prevent any nerve damage, which is a skill that oral surgeons are extensively trained on. Once the tooth is extracted, the gum tissue is stitched (sutured) together using mostly dissolvable stitches.
“Post-operative care is critical with wisdom teeth extraction, so we equip our patients with the tools and information they need to make a speedy recovery,” said Dr. David Park DDS, MD, another practicing oral surgeon at Utah Surgical Arts. “During the first 24 hours, the patient may experience pain and bleeding in the gums, among other symptoms, so I make sure I provide everything the patient needs for a quick and comfortable recovery process.”
What the experienced team of oral and maxillofacial surgeons at Utah Surgical Arts want their patients to understand first and foremost is the key to lasting oral health requires special care of the mouth long after the healing process from wisdom tooth extraction is complete. “The health and wellbeing of every patient I see is my top concern,” said Dr. Christopher J. Price, MD, DDS of Utah Surgical Arts. “I want everyone who comes through our doors to understand that oral health is critical to overall health, and that damage done early in life can have an impact that could last for many years.”
According to Doctors Harris, Park and Price, wisdom tooth removal is a procedure that is best handled by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon because of the extensive training these specialists have received. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are the only recognized dental specialists that are surgically trained in an American Dental Association-accredited hospital-based residency program. Their knowledge and surgical expertise uniquely qualify them to diagnose and treat the functional and aesthetic conditions in the hard and soft tissue of the face, mouth and jaw.
For more information about wisdom teeth removal and other oral and maxillofacial surgical procedures, please visit utahsurgicalarts.com/.
About Utah Surgical Arts
Dr. Michael D. Harris, MD, DDS
Dr. Michael Harris completed his undergraduate work at Brigham Young University, received his dental degree from Creighton University in Nebraska, and his Medical degree from the University of Texas in San Antonio. After an internship in general surgery, he completed his training in Oral and Maxillofacial surgery at the University of Texas Health Science center San Antonio.
Dr. David A. Park, MD, DDS
Dr. David Park earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Brigham Young University then received a scholarship to the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Dental School. After graduation he accepted a residency position at the University of Louisville, where he received his medical degree, completed an internship in General Surgery, and obtained certification in oral and maxillofacial surgery.
Dr. Christopher J. Price, MD, DDS
Dr. Christopher Price graduated with a Bachelors of Science in biology from the University of Utah, attended Dental School at Columbia University, School of Dental and Oral Surgery and his Medical School & Residency was completed at University of Texas Southwestern and Parkland Hospital.
Utah Surgical Arts serves residents in three locations:
3610 N University Ave, Suite 150
Provo, UT 84604
3409 West 12600 South, Suite 120
Riverton, UT 84605
1107 South Hwy 198
Payson, UT 84651