If your wisdom teeth aren’t bothering you, why does the dentist recommend that they should be extracted? Even though it might sound unusual to remove teeth that aren’t painful or damaged, there are good reasons why most patients shouldn’t keep their wisdom teeth into adulthood.
Determining Whether Wisdom Teeth Extraction is Necessary
The truth is that not every patient requires wisdom tooth extraction. Instead, each patient is evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine the positioning of the wisdom teeth and whether there is enough room in the mouth for these third molars. Additionally, some people aren’t born with wisdom teeth, so this procedure is not required.
The problem is that many patients have wisdom teeth that are impacted: stuck in the wrong position, so they can’t break through the gum line in the right position. If the wisdom teeth are growing at an angle or the mouth is too small to make room for additional molars, then the other teeth could be damaged, crowded, or shifted.
It is also important to consider how wisdom teeth will prevent adequate oral hygiene. Since the teeth are located so far back in the mouth, it can be a challenge to keep them clean.
Proactive Removal of the Wisdom Teeth
Instead of waiting for problems to occur, it is often best to be proactive in the removal of these back molars. Since the jaw bone gets harder with age, it is more challenging to remove the wisdom teeth later in life. Instead, healthy molars can be extracted in the late teens or early twenties.
Here are a few reasons why wisdom teeth should be removed:
- Avoid damage to other teeth.
- Reduce the risk of bite problems and misalignment from overcrowding.
- Maintain a strong jaw and healthy gums by avoiding infection and cysts in the wisdom tooth area.
- Eliminate the risk of pockets of bacterial growth in the back of the mouth that leads to the formation of cavities.
- Manage sinus issues that can be affected by wisdom teeth.
Preparing for Wisdom Tooth Removal
This treatment is similar to any other tooth extraction treatment. The local area will be numbed, or sedation is available if preferred. Depending on the position of the wisdom teeth, the dentist might need to cut an opening in the gums to access each tooth for removal. This oral surgery can be completed in an hour or less, then you will be sent home for recovery.
Every patient is provided with care instructions to minimize complications after tooth extraction. You’ll experience a bit of pain and swelling for a few days, so it is best to arrange time off from work and school. An ice pack can be used to manage the swelling, as well as over-the-counter medications to manage the pain.
Talk to an Experienced Dentist
If you have questions about wisdom tooth extraction or other available dental services, then our team is here to help. Schedule a consultation at one of our convenient myDental locations to learn more.