Wisdom tooth removal is a common dental procedure in the United States. Approximately 5 million American adults have their wisdom teeth removed each year.
While the surgery is normally straightforward and simple, many people wonder about the necessity. Do you need to have your wisdom teeth extracted, or can it be avoided?
Signs Your Wisdom Teeth Are Healthy
Before recommending wisdom tooth removal, a wise, skilled dental team will conduct an in-depth examination of your third molars. These teeth normally begin to erupt between the ages of 17 and 25, and sometimes they develop perfectly.
When your third set of molars is aligned properly, shows no signs of decay and you have room in your mouth to clean the teeth effectively, dentists do not rush to extract them. If you believe you can take care of them and prevent cavity growth over the long term, keeping the set of third molars is perfectly acceptable.
What Kind of Problems Can Develop?
It is only when wisdom teeth begin to cause issues, or when dentists predict that issues are on the horizon, that extraction is recommended. In many growing teens and young adults, the arrival of wisdom teeth creates extreme crowding in the mouth. If you have invested time and money in orthodontic work, the results could be marred under the pressure of an erupting third set of molars.
In other cases, dentists may take X-rays and see that the teeth are impacted, meaning since they don’t have room to erupt, they grow at an angle underneath the gums. This condition can cause extreme pain, inflammation and spur the development of cysts in the area.
Additionally, since wisdom teeth are in the far corners of the mouth, a tight fit can lead to bacterial buildup in between the them and adjoining molars. Filling cavities in wisdom teeth is usually only a temporary fix, as more cavities are likely to develop.
When Extraction Is the Best Decision
If you are feeling pain in the back of your mouth due to wisdom tooth development or you are beginning to feel a buildup of pressure in your sinuses, it could be time to part with your third molars. Also, if the nearby gums are inflamed and crowding is beginning to take its toll on your otherwise straight teeth, consider having your wisdom teeth removed.
Many dentists recommend wisdom tooth removal when patients are in their late teens and early twenties, when the roots of the molars are not fully formed yet. It makes the surgery less complex and the recovery easier, but the procedure can take place in adulthood as well if necessary.
Talk to the staff at Oak Hills Dentistry about whether wisdom tooth removal is right for you or your child, and rely on a skilled, professional opinion on the ideal treatment plan to minimize future issues and maintain your oral health.