You probably know many people who have had their wisdom teeth removed; it’s a very common oral surgery procedure. Determining whether or not you need to have your, or your child’s, wisdom teeth removed is usually a decision that your general dentist and referred oral surgeon can help you make. Several factors may contribute to your unique situation and whether or not wisdom teeth extraction is right for you. |
In short, wisdom teeth extraction is not always necessary. Patients are usually between the ages of 18 and 24 when the third molars (commonly called wisdom teeth) come in. For patients who do not experience oral complications with wisdom teeth growth, it’s perfectly fine to keep the third molars. However, common complications with the growth and presence of wisdom teeth motivate many people to have them removed.
Wisdom Teeth Growth
Some patients’ wisdom teeth grow in quite normally and present little complications, other than some possible discomfort or soreness when breaking through the gum line. However, wisdom teeth are also notorious for being impacted. When your dentist or oral surgeon refers to “impacted” teeth, they mean that the teeth are inhibited from growing in properly. Usually, impacted teeth stay below the surface of the gum line, or only partially protrude from the gums. Typically, they will be positioned in an incorrect angle for proper growth, such as being horizontal, instead of vertical.
It’s also important to note that some patients simply don’t have wisdom teeth. It’s been estimated that anywhere from 10 to 25 percent of Americans do not have any third molars. If that is you, there’s no reason to worry; some people simply don’t grow the third molars which means they don’t have to worry about extraction!
Wisdom teeth can cause complications due to their late entrance into the mouth, being impacted or incorrectly positioned, or not having enough space to correctly enter the mouth.
Impacted wisdom teeth can put pressure on your other molars and cause pain. In addition, impacted teeth that have only partially protruded can attract plaque and tartar which makes them much harder to keep clean. This means that wisdom teeth can be especially prone to tooth decay, so diligent oral care –even to the very rear of the mouth — is crucial. Other times, when a patient’s jaw cannot support the addition of another molar, wisdom teeth can put undue pressure on teeth in an effort to create space and actually cause overcrowding and crooked teeth.
Many patients elect to have their wisdom teeth removed either before these symptoms occur, as a precautionary measure, or after their wisdom teeth have begun to cause pain, overcrowding, or oral hygiene issues.
Wisdom Teeth Extraction: What to Expect
Wisdom teeth extraction is an outpatient procedure. Your oral surgeon will administer sedative medications and local anesthetic to ensure the process is not painful. Depending on the type of extraction, you may be awake but deeply relaxed, or asleep. Always be sure that you are comfortable with your oral surgeon. Attend a consultation and bring up any concerns you may have regarding the procedure; an experienced oral surgeon should address all of your concerns and help you feel at ease about the procedure and recovery.
For impacted teeth that have not broken through the gum line, or may have only partially come through, your oral surgeon may remove some gum tissue and bone tissue to fully extract the impacted teeth. Before the procedure, your oral surgeon and his/her staff will give you pain medications and detailed post-procedure care instructions to help your mouth heal quickly and with less discomfort; you should be able to return to your normal activities within just a few days.
Dr. Chris Tye regularly performs wisdom teeth extraction surgery in Colleyville, TX. If you’re looking for an experienced oral surgeon close to home, contact our office to schedule a wisdom teeth consultation with Dr. Chris Tye! He can help you understand your options and whether wisdom teeth extraction is the best course of treatment for you.
Related Articles -
wisdom teeth extraction, oral surgery, oral surgeon, dental extraction,