I am very happy with the results . . . I would recommend Dr. Schwartz to all New Yorkers.


  • American Dental Association
  • New York County Dental Society
  • The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
  • American Academy of Implant Dentistry
  • Consumers Research Council of America
  • The Best in New York Medicine, 2016 Top Dentist

Improving Comfort and Safeguarding Against Malocclusion

Wisdom Teeth Manhattan

Long after our primary (baby) teeth have been replaced by permanent teeth, we get our third molars - a set of four permanent teeth which come in behind the upper and lower 12-year-molars. Third molars are called "wisdom" teeth because they generally erupt between 17 and 21 years of age, when we reach adulthood.

Why do wisdom teeth cause problems?

Wisdom teeth that are healthy and properly positioned can be a valuable asset to the mouth. Unfortunately, this is often not the case, and problems develop that require their removal. For example, when the jaw is not large enough to accommodate these teeth, they can become impacted - unable to come in or move into their proper place. They may grow sideways, emerge only partway from the gum, or remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impaction occurs most often in the third molars of the lower jaw. After examining your mouth and taking X-rays, Dr. Schwartz will discuss whether your wisdom teeth should be removed.

Why are wisdom teeth removed?

Extraction of third molars can protect the overall health of the mouth. It is generally recommended when the following conditions occur:

  • Wisdom teeth only partially erupt. This leaves an opening for bacteria to enter around the tooth and cause an infection. Pain, swelling, jaw stiffness and general illness can result.
  • Impacted wisdom teeth may continue growing without enough room, damaging adjacent teeth. This continued pressure can eventually destroy the healthy second molar tooth.
  • A fluid-filled sac (cyst) or tumor forms, destroying surrounding structures such as bone or tooth-roots.

Why remove the teeth early?

People between the ages of 16 and 19 should have their wisdom teeth evaluated. If they need to be removed, it should be considered before age 20 when generally fewer complications occur. At a younger age, tooth roots are not fully developed, the surround­ing bone is softer and there is less chance of damaging nearby nerves or other structures. There is also less surgical risk and healing is generally faster.

Extractions of wisdom teeth are performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Our office refers to only the top surgeons in the city and Dr. Schwartz will be happy to make that referral if he deems it necessary.  An oral and maxillofacial surgeon is a dentist who specializes in surgery and the removal of wisdom teeth. Before surgery, this dentist will explain what to expect, have you sign a consent form and give you personalized instructions to follow. Keep in mind these general items to help your surgery go smoothly.

Wear loose, comfortable clothing and arrange to have someone be with you after surgery. Extractions, which can be performed under local or general anesthesia, may cause some swelling and discomfort. Cold compresses can help decrease the swelling and prescribed medication can help decrease the pain. You may be instructed to drink only clear liquids following surgery and later progress to soft foods.

Some patients experience numbness or tingling following surgery. Normal sensation usually returns in a period of time. Occasionally, a dry socket occurs when the blood clot breaks down earlier than normal. A dressing placed in the socket protects it until the socket heals.

Talk with our office about any questions that you have. It is especially important to let your oral surgeon know, before surgery, of any illness that you have and medications that you are taking. If your general dentist has referred you to a specialist, they will both work together to provide you with the best and most efficient care. Keeping your teeth healthy - to a wise old age - is our dentist's primary concern.

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Jack Schwartz DDS MS

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