No one looks forward to dealing with wisdom teeth. In fact, it’s not a topic we usually think about at all until our wisdom teeth actually start to erupt. But maybe we should! Sometimes, early assessment and early extraction is the best way to stop potential problems before they ever arise.
Of course, if you’ve never developed wisdom teeth, or if you have plenty of space for them to erupt completely, you will probably be just fine. But what happens if you don’t fall into either of these categories?
For many of us, wisdom teeth can remain enclosed, or impacted, completely in the bone and gums, or can partially erupt next to a molar, not quite breaking through all of the gum tissue. Either way, an impacted tooth can cause serious dental problems:
- Gum disease and infection
- Rapid decay in the tooth
- Damage to the roots of neighboring teeth
- Other teeth pushed out of alignment
- Cysts around the wisdom tooth’s root
If you are experiencing any of these conditions, or have symptoms such as pain, redness, or swelling in the area, you could be a candidate for prompt wisdom tooth extraction.
And if you have impacted wisdom teeth and are symptom-free? One solution is to keep a close eye on the impacted teeth with every dental exam, and Dr. Herbst might recommend this option to you. For several good reasons, though, early extraction often leads to an easier extraction experience.
- Roots generally aren’t fully developed until we’re in our 20s. Smaller roots make for easier and less complicated extraction.
- Smaller and shorter roots are also less likely to lead to complications affecting the sinuses in your upper jaw area or the sensory nerves in your lower jaw.
- Young bones heal faster. Because the bones of children and young adults regenerate and heal more quickly than older bones, the space in the jaw bone which formerly held the tooth fills in more rapidly and densely than it will later in life.
Before you make any treatment decisions, it’s a great idea to get an evaluation from Dr. Herbst at our Union City, NJ office. Oral surgeons have a minimum of four years of advanced studies in a hospital-based residency program, where they train with medical residents in the fields of general surgery, anesthesiology, internal medicine, and other specialties with a specific focus on the bones, muscles, and nerves of the face, mouth, and jaw.
Oral surgeons like Dr. Herbst have the experience and training to assess the condition of your wisdom teeth today and advise you on potential problems you might face in the future. We have the surgical skill to expertly perform your extraction, if you decide on this option, and are trained in all forms of anesthesia for your most comfortable extraction experience.
When you are making decisions about your wisdom teeth, it’s always a good idea to get the advice of a specialist. No one looks forward to dealing with wisdom teeth, but with the guidance of your oral surgeon, you can be sure that whichever path you choose will be the best decision not only for your dental health today, but to ensure a future of healthy smiles.