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Richmond Oral and Cosmetic Surgeons

Dr Thomas Padgett, DMD

Procedures

To learn more about the oral surgery procedures that we provide, please select a procedure from the menu below:

  • Orthognathic Surgery
  • Wisdom Teeth
  • Dental Implants
  • All-on-4® Treatment
  • Bone Grafting
  • Facial Trauma
  • Oral Pathology
  • TMJ Disorders

Wisdom Tooth Surgery

The average adult has thirty-two teeth by age eighteen: sixteen teeth on the top and sixteen 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 while the back teeth, or molar teeth, are used to grind food up into a consistency suitable for swallowing.


However, the average sized mouth is made to hold only 28 teeth. It can be painful when 32 teeth try to fit in a mouth that holds only 28 teeth. These four other teeth are your third molars, also known as ”wisdom teeth.”

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.

Oral Examination

With an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, Dr. Padgett 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. Patients are generally first evaluated in the 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. Dr. Padgett has the training, license and experience to provide various types of anesthesia to allow patients to select the best alternative. These services are provided in an environment of optimum safety, utilizing modern monitoring equipment and staff experienced in anesthesia techniques.

Initial Consultation

At this visit, your doctor will assess you needs and desires and discuss various treatment options. He will also review your expectations and the probable outcome of treatment. You may be shown several before and after photographs, but remember, results vary with individuals. Your doctor will provide literature for you to review at home and request you return at a later date to finalize the type of procedure you desire and schedule the surgery. At this time, before and after photographs may be taken of the area to document your results. For smaller procedures, a surgery date may be made at the initial visit.


Please assist us by providing the following information at the time of your consultation:

  • Your surgical referral slip and any x-rays if applicable.
  • A list of medications you are presently taking.
  • If you have medical insurance, bring the necessary completed forms. This will save time and allow us to help you process any claims.

IMPORTANT: A parent or guardian must accompany all patients under 18 at the consultation visit.


A pre-operative consultation is mandatory for patients undergoing IV anesthesia for surgery. Please have nothing to eat or drink 6 hours prior to your surgery. You will also need an adult to drive you home.


Please alert the office if you have a medical condition that may be of concern prior to surgery (i.e. diabetes, high blood pressure, artificial heart valves and joints, rheumatic fever, etc.) or if you are on any medication (i.e. heart medications, aspirin, anticoagulant therapy, etc.)


X-Ray

If your physician or dentist has taken X-Rays, you may request that they forward them to our office. If there is not enough time, please pick them up and bring them to our office. If additional films are necessary, they can be taken at our facility.