Millions of people have their wisdom teeth removed each year, and it’s possible that a dentist just recommended this procedure to you or your child.
But is the removal of wisdom teeth medically necessary? And if so, when do wisdom teeth need to be removed?
It’s actually quite common for dental patients to have trouble with their wisdom teeth. Many dentists recommend that patients have their wisdom teeth pulled before their early 20s in order to avoid major oral health issues down the road.
Here’s why so many dentists want those wisdom teeth removed.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are your mouth’s third molars, or the molars in the back of the mouth. These molars are the final set of your adult teeth to grow in. Wisdom teeth usually emerge between ages 17 and 25. The name wisdom teeth is a reference to the fact that they appear at a more mature age.
Why Do So Many Dentists Suggest Having Them Pulled Out?
Sometimes the removal of wisdom teeth is necessary to prevent oral health issues. Although not always the case, the late emergence of these teeth can cause damage to other teeth, alignment issues, or infection. So, when exactly do wisdom teeth need to be removed?
As a general rule of thumb, wisdom teeth do not require removal if they happen to be healthy, grown in fully, and positioned correctly. Even still, a dentist may suggest removal if he or she suspects that the wisdom teeth may lead to alignment problems later in life.
However, in many cases, removing the wisdom teeth is mandatory because these teeth lack the room they need to grow in correctly. For instance, they may begin to grow at a variety of angles in your jawbone, including horizontally.
What Happens If You Don’t Remove Your Wisdom Teeth?
Let’s say that the removal of wisdom teeth is necessary in your case but you choose to keep these teeth in. Various issues may result over the next few decades.
First, your wisdom teeth might remain totally hidden in the gums. In this case, they can become impacted, or trapped, in the jaw. This may lead to an infection. Alternatively, it might result in a cyst, which may damage the roots of your other teeth, as well as your bone support.
Alternatively, your wisdom teeth might partially emerge through your gums. In this situation, the area may be difficult to see, which means that cleaning it properly might prove to be impossible. As a result, your third molars might become magnets for infection-causing and gum disease-causing bacteria.
Third, your wisdom teeth may end up crowding your nearby teeth if your mouth doesn’t have enough room for them. This might ultimately cause damage to your other teeth, affect your bite, and lead to pain.
What If You Just Wait a Few Years?
If you’re asking the question “When do wisdom teeth need to be removed,” note that some dentists say that the removal of wisdom teeth is necessary if these teeth have not fully emerged. In addition, many dental care providers recommend removing these molars at younger ages. That’s because it’s easier to remove these teeth before their roots and the bone surrounding them have fully formed. On top of this, younger people generally recover from surgery more quickly than older individuals do.
You should most definitely get your wisdom teeth removed if you begin to experience any of the following oral problems:
- Extensive decay of the wisdom teeth
- Gum disease
- Constant soft tissue infections behind your bottom wisdom teeth
How a Dentist Can Help with Wisdom Tooth Removal
If your dentist determines that the removal of your wisdom teeth is necessary, you will undergo sedation with laughing gas or IV. Then, your dentist will numb the target areas and remove any tissue covering your teeth. Bone may also be removed if the teeth are impacted.
Next, your dentist will loosen the teeth to remove them. Finally, you will receive stitches in the surgical sites. Your dentist will then provide you with instructions for caring for the sites, such as not using a straw to drink beverages while you’re recovering (this can disrupt the blood clots that form at the sites during the healing process).
Remember, a few days of healing is easier than years of oral health complications.
Schedule an Appointment with the Experts at Definitive Dental Today
At Definitive Dental, we are ready to help you to eliminate your wisdom teeth issues if we determine that the removal of your wisdom teeth is necessary. Known for dentistry done right, we have earned hundreds of five-star reviews for effectively guiding patients to complete oral health and providing them with grade-A treatment.