It’s almost commonplace to visit your dentist and discover that you may need to have your wisdom teeth removed. Located at the rear of your mouth, these teeth tend to show up after the rest of your adult teeth are in place. These late arriving teeth are often a source of discomfort and oral problems for young adults and having them removed before they ever break the gum service seems standard practice.
It’s important to weigh the risks and benefits to wisdom tooth extraction as well as having your current oral structure evaluated to determine the necessity of the procedure. Speaking with an oral surgeon is your best source of information as a regular dentist might not have the ability to perform the procedure.
Wisdom Teeth Conditions and Treatment
When you get the news that your wisdom teeth need to come out, you might question that decision if they’re not bothering you or causing any discomfort. Some patients don’t want to undergo surgery, but this isn’t always a viable option unless the teeth are healthy.
Healthy wisdom teeth have some of the following characteristics:
- They allow you to bite correctly
- Positioning is correct
- They have a healthy appearance
- The teeth are fully visible and out of the gum
- It’s easy to clean them as part of your daily hygiene routine
Again, this is not the norm as wisdom teeth come in after the rest of your adult teeth are in place. This means eruptions could occur at odd angles from the jaw, cause impactions with infection, and possibly damage your other healthy teeth.
Wisdom Teeth Removal is Preventative
Even without evidence of pain or infection, these late molars are full of potential problems unseen below the gum surface. An impaction could already be happening, but you don’t realize this as the pressure hasn’t built up to a critical point yet. Worse, these types of teeth can get lodged in your gum and not erupt at all because they didn’t make it out of your jaw bone or other teeth have prevented it.
Dentists and oral surgeons sometimes remove a perfectly healthy tooth because of a future risk of more severe complications. Another factor is that with age, the harder our bones get, which makes a wisdom tooth extraction even more difficult. It’s possible that a late removal could result in other ongoing dental issues after surgery like broken teeth, nerve damage, jaw injury, and heavy bleeding.
Conditions Warranting Extractions
At your annual dental appointment, your dentist may order x-rays if you have symptoms of wisdom teeth causing problems or if issues could occur in the future. Your dentist will look for specific tell-tale signs of dental trouble and explain to you why they support losing your extra set of molars. Some typical wisdom tooth problems that support extraction include:
- The teeth stay inside the gum and become impacted within the jaw, causing degradation of the bone and infection
- Molars are only erupted partially from the gum line, making it difficult to clean correctly and making it easy for infectious bacteria to breed
- Overcrowding your mouth by putting pressure on nearby healthy teeth which may cause root damage or breakage
Your dentist will also evaluate other circumstances and conditions that might demand an extraction like:
- Damage to surrounding teeth due to impaction or bite problems from the extra molars
- Jaw damage from cysts caused by new wisdom teeth that haven’t erupted
- Chronic sinus problems like congestion, pain, and pressure
- Gums and surrounding tissue showing signs of swelling and inflammation
- Cavities have developed in the inflamed gums that allow toxic bacteria to fester
- Alignment issues due to overcrowding in the mouth
- Your age
Patients typically have a couple of months to decide after getting a referral for extraction surgery, but waiting too long could potentially complicate a routine operation. The longer you keep your wisdom teeth in your mouth, the greater the chances for infection will increase. This is the main argument for having your extra set of molars taken out ahead of time so there is never a question and you don’t have to worry about impacted teeth.
Union City Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Deciding to remove wisdom teeth isn’t easily determined by just a physical exam at the dentist. Long term effects of keeping or eliminating these teeth and the impact it will have on your mouth are essential considerations to keep in mind. Speak with a trusted dentist or referred oral surgeon to learn more about your dental situation and if your wisdom teeth need to come out.
At Union City Oral Surgery, our office provides some of the newest dentistry technology available so your dental experience will be exceptional. Dr. Nancy Herbst uses her more than 25 years of oral surgery experience to accurately diagnose any complications from your wisdom teeth and to educate you on the best steps to take in treatment. As one of New Jersey’s Top Dentist’s of 2019, Dr. Herbst has earned the trust of New Jersey residents for her skills as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Contact our office today at (201) 601-9262 to learn more about how the presence of wisdom teeth affects your smile.