By the age of eighteen, the average adult has 32 teeth; 16 teeth on the top and 16 teeth on the bottom. Each tooth in the mouth has a specific name and function. The teeth in the front of the mouth (incisors, canine and bicuspid teeth) are ideal for grasping and biting food into smaller pieces. The back teeth or molar teeth are used to grind food up into a consistency suitable for swallowing. As recently as the early 1900s, early loss of molar teeth to dental decay was quite common. In these instances the third molar or wisdom teeth which develop in adolescence would erupt and serve as a molar replacement. With the advent of fluoridated water and improvements in dental care, however, early loss of the molar teeth is much less frequent in our time and the majority of Peoria, Galesburg and Macomb patients do not have room for proper eruption or positioning of the third molars.

Why Should I Remove My Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. When they align properly and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not generally happen. The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth.

They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as they attempt to find a pathway that will allow them to erupt successfully.

These poorly positioned impacted teeth can cause many problems. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the tooth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The result: swelling, stiffness, pain and illness. The pressure from the erupting wisdom tooth may move other teeth and disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment of teeth. The most serious problem occurs when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom tooth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Removal of the offending impacted tooth or teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.

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Oral Examination

With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, your surgeon can evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there may be present or future problems. Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment result in a superior outcome for the patient. Peoria, Galesburg and Macomb patients are generally first evaluated in the early to mid- teenage years by their dentist, orthodontist or by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

All outpatient surgery is performed under appropriate anesthesia to maximize patient comfort. Our surgeons have the training, licenses and experience to provide various types of anesthesia for Peoria, Galesburg and Macomb patients.


In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under IV/General anesthesia. Anesthesia options as well as the surgical risks will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed. Once the teeth are removed, the gum tissue is sometimes sutured. To help control bleeding, bite down on the gauze placed in your mouth. You will rest under our supervision in the office until you are ready to be taken home. Upon discharge, your post-operative kit will include postoperative instructions, a prescription for pain medication, antibiotics if necessary and a follow-up appointment if necessary. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at our offices in Peoria, Galesburg and Macomb.

Our services are provided in an environment of optimum safety that utilizes modern monitoring equipment and staff that are experienced in anesthesia techniques. Call any of our offices in Peoria, Galesburg and Macomb to schedule a wisdom teeth extraction consultation.