As the last teeth to erupt, wisdom teeth are really no different than any other teeth. In fact, they are incredibly useful, assuming that they are able to erupt correctly and have healthy gum tissue surrounding them. Yet, many individuals run into problems when wisdom teeth begin to erupt, leading them to have them removed. Is it wise to remove wisdom teeth? You’ll see that the reasoning and timing behind wisdom teeth removal is based on an individual’s oral health and the position of surrounding teeth.
The following are a few reasons why wisdom teeth removal may be necessary:
- When wisdom teeth are unable to erupt, they are considered “impacted.” The concern among dentists with impacted teeth is that they pose a greater risk for infection and cysts.
- When wisdom teeth partially erupt, it is difficult to maintain good oral health. Particles from food get trapped in the crevices near the gum line, and may cause swelling, a tumor, cyst, or pain.
- When wisdom teeth begin to erupt at an angle or may cause crowding in adjacent teeth, dentists often suggest removing them. This is especially important if the patient has received orthodontic care. Removing wisdom teeth can preserve the patient’s healthy, straight smile.
In some cases, a fluid-filled sac, or cyst, will form at the site of eruption. This type of cyst has the potential to damage bone or tooth roots.
Depending on your oral health history and the current level of dental care you’ve received, your dentist may suggest removing your wisdom teeth, even if you haven’t presented any signs of discomfort or impaction. This is simply due to the lack of predictability regarding wisdom teeth. This process varies from patient to patient, and some dentists see removing them as a way to avoid problems. It’s also important to understand that as wisdom teeth begin to break through the gum tissue, a passageway for bacteria is created. The chance of infection runs high, as this is a hard to reach area of the mouth.
As a rule, if you are between ages 16-19, you should contact your dentist for an evaluation to determine if your wisdom teeth are close to erupting, or if there is room for them to emerge. The answer will not always be to remove them. However, in many cases, it is wise to do so.
Dr. Henry J. Ernst at Pleasant Plains Dental provides personable, high quality dental care to those of all ages. When it comes to teens and young adults, Dr. Ernst realizes that the structure and characteristics of your teeth are different than others. Thus, there’s not a one-size fits all approach to removing wisdom teeth. We look at your individual needs and help you make the most informed decision regarding your oral health. Call Pleasant Plains Dental today to schedule your appointment.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Henry J. Ernst, Pleasant Plains Dental