Do You Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?
That third and final set of molars that emerge later in life in the deepest recesses of your mouth—named “wisdom teeth” as if they are a rite of passage into adulthood—can be a blemish in what might be an otherwise perfect dental record. Yes, these teeth disturb the oral health of a majority of individuals, requiring wisdom teeth removal.
It is believed that “once upon a time” the wisdom teeth were essential to the caveman. Today, modern man seems to have little need for the teeth, much less space for them in the mouth. These teeth often emerge misaligned, crowding the other teeth, or hide partially below the surface of the gum line, stirring up damage to the jawbone or nerves, and causing wisdom teeth pain. Wisdom teeth removal has become a common procedure—nearly 85 percent of adults have had their wisdom teeth removed to protect their oral health.
Wisdom teeth pain is not something to ignore. This can be a sign of crowding or impacted wisdom teeth. In either case, your oral health may be at stake and you should seek the advice of your dental care professional.
Fully impacted wisdom teeth are enclosed within the soft tissue of the jawbone, while partially impacted wisdom teeth break partway through the gum line. A partial eruption often leaves an opening for bacterial growth around the tooth, leading to infection, tooth decay, or gum disease. These conditions are also associated with pain, swelling, jaw stiffness, and general illness. Your dentist will likely recommend prompt wisdom teeth removal to inhibit further development of adverse conditions or disease.
If you are unsure about the state of your wisdom teeth—fully impacted teeth can’t be seen with the naked eye—ask your dentist. Periodic X-rays during routine dental care visits will allow you and your dentist to monitor your teeth. If the position of your teeth is already cause for concern, your dentist may recommend wisdom teeth removal or refer you to an oral surgeon for further evaluation.
Many times, dentists and oral surgeons will recommend removal to avoid future problems. Although your wisdom teeth may not be causing you trouble now, wisdom teeth removal becomes a risky procedure late in life. Younger people tend to have wisdom teeth roots that have not fully developed and the bone is less dense, making removal easier. Older people, however, often have a longer healing time and more intense recovery.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
Removal of wisdom teeth is often an outpatient procedure, performed at the dentist’s or oral surgeon’s office. The ease of the procedure varies case by case, largely depending on the position of the teeth at time of removal. Your dental care provider can make you aware of what to expect when you have your exam before the procedure.
Your dental care professional will use a local anesthetic to numb any pain that might occur during the surgery. If necessary, your dentist may sedate you as well. The teeth will then be carefully extracted, minimizing disturbance to the bone and optimizing your long-term oral health
To learn about our family dentistry practice in Philadelphia, call Gentle Dental of Pennsylvania today at (215) 789-9675 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Philadelphia. With 14 affiliated practices in the Greater Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of Pennsylvania, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of Pennsylvania.