The eruption of wisdom teeth can become a problem if they cause crowding in your mouth, erupt in the wrong position, or become impacted. The average human mouth often does not have room to accommodate the third molars and removal allows the teeth and smile to not be altered due to overcrowding. A wisdom tooth extraction is a surgical procedure performed by a general dentist or oral surgeon to remove one or more of your wisdom teeth (third molars) and prevent these complications. While it's a more complicated procedure than getting a filling or braces, wisdom teeth removal is a common dental milestone and can help ensure a ensure a healthy smile while maintaining the dental work previously performed, braces, retainers or any procedure done to correct the teeth before the wisdom teeth decided to make their entrance.
It's difficult to predict future problems with impacted wisdom teeth, a conversation with your dentist can help reassure what steps should be taken, but some foreseen issues could be:
An impacted wisdom tooth may:
- Grow in at an angle toward the next tooth
- Grow in at an angle toward the back of the mouth
- Grow at a right angle to the other teeth, as if the wisdom tooth is lying down along the jawline
- Grow straight up or down like other teeth but stay trapped within the jawbone
Keeping up with your regular scheduled appointments twice per year for cleanings and checkups with your dentist will help allow your dentist to follow your teeth' progress. This will allow your dentist to track how or if your wisdom teeth are soon to arrive.
Your dentist will monitor the development of your wisdom teeth during routine appointments and with dental X-rays. They may discuss removing them if they’ve become impacted or if they have the potential to cause problems, such as the following:
- Possible tooth decay
- Damage to structure of surrounding teeth
- Possible periodontal disease
- Possible Bone loss
- Possible tooth loss
Why Get Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Many people might not experience any issues or pain when the wisdom teeth erupt and don’t need to have their wisdom teeth extracted. Even so, many dental professionals will recommend having your wisdom teeth pulled if you experience the following scenarios:
- Not enough room for wisdom teeth: Most of us have room for about 28 teeth, which is the number of teeth you have before your wisdom teeth erupt. When you add your four wisdom teeth, you have 32 teeth all trying to fit into the confined amount of space available in your jaw. When the jaw isn’t large enough, the wisdom teeth can become impacted, which means they are either unable to fully erupt or they become misaligned. In this case, having your wisdom teeth pulled will ensure all your teeth have ample room.
- Experiencing wisdom tooth gum pain: Pain can be a sign of infection that can occur from partially erupted wisdom teeth. When food and bacteria get trapped in these areas, it can lead to a very painful infection known as pericoronitis. Having the wisdom teeth extracted in this case will prevent further infection.
- Wisdom teeth coming in crooked: If your wisdom teeth come in fully, but come in sideways, they can cause your teeth to shift and move over time. There is also a chance that poorly aligned wisdom teeth can damage the nearby teeth. Once you have your wisdom teeth extracted, your nearby teeth will be protected from damage.
- Cyst forms on a wisdom tooth: This occurs when the sac next to the tooth becomes filled with fluid (infection). When this occurs, it can destroy the surrounding structures such as bone or tooth roots. In rare cases, an untreated cyst can lead to a tumor that may require a more serious surgical procedure.
Adding IV sedation to your procedure is always an option for patients suffering with dental anxiety, have a strong gag reflex or feel they have a very low pain threshold. IV sedation dentistry works as a form of conscious sedation to help you feel relaxed during your appointment. This method does not put you fully to sleep, but it does make you less aware of your surroundings — including anything the dentist may or may not be doing to your mouth. That means you can still respond to verbal commands or gentle nudging, and you should not need help breathing. Unlike other forms of sedation that are inhaled (like nitrous oxide) or taken in pill form, the dentist administers the sedation intravenously, which means through your vein. IV Sedation allows patients to remain calm and pain free.
Our team of professionals are here for any questions or concerns you may have if you've been instructed to or suspect you might need your wisdom teeth removed. Give us a call today!
You are in good hands with your wisdom teeth extraction procedure with our dentists below that perform wisdom teeth extractions both with and or without IV Sedation.
Dr. Joshua Elliss, DMD Dr. Narek Akopyan, DMD
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