When it comes to wisdom teeth, there is an ongoing debate regarding whether to keep them or to have them extracted, especially if they’re not causing any pain or discomfort. For many people, particularly young adults, oral surgery to remove wisdom teeth is a rite of passage and just another one of life’s unpleasant necessities. But what happens if you opt to keep your wisdom teeth, and how does doing so impact your overall oral health? In this article, we will detail what having your wisdom teeth extracted entails and also the consequences associated with leaving them intact.
WHAT ARE WISDOM TEETH?
Before going over the importance of having your wisdom teeth removed, let’s take a moment to understand what they are and how they impact your oral health. Essentially, wisdom teeth are characterized as the third set of molars that protrude from the gums, usually in your late teens or early twenties. In some cases, wisdom teeth are healthy and are no different than other teeth in terms of function; however, in many cases, they’re misaligned and will require removal. Once wisdom teeth break through the gum tissue, they are either angled away from the second molars or towards them. In some cases, they may point inward or outward. In either scenario, these teeth become poorly aligned, often resulting in tooth crowding and other serious dental problems.
SHOULD WISDOM TEETH BE REMOVED EVEN IF THEY’RE NOT CAUSING YOU PAIN?
If you’re fortunate enough to have your wisdom teeth come in straight, and they’re otherwise healthy, there is a good chance that you can forgo having them removed. However, this is rarely ever the case for most people. At the very least, most dentists will recommend having your wisdom teeth removed as a preventive measure as it can help minimize damage to other teeth. The same applies to wisdom teeth that have not erupted and may not be causing any pain or discomfort. In many cases, these teeth can become trapped beneath the gum and may cause additional dental problems. In any event, it would be ill-advised to keep your wisdom teeth.
HOW DO DENTISTS REMOVE WISDOM TEETH?
There are many factors that determine the complexity involved in having wisdom teeth extracted including age and position of the teeth. That said, the extraction process is determined based on whether or not the wisdom teeth have fully erupted through the gum, meaning if the wisdom teeth have erupted through the gum, a standard extraction is all that is needed. On the other hand, if the teeth are trapped below the gum, an incision will be required to free the tooth from the jawbone, which requires that the tooth is removed piece by piece. It is worth noting that the process is relatively painless as you will be given a local anesthetic like novocaine, for example. However, you will still feel the tugging and pulling sensations typical of any tooth extracting procedure.
In summation, it is always a good idea to have your wisdom teeth extracted as it can help minimize future dental problems or resolve the ones you may already have. If your wisdom teeth are causing you pain, you’re encouraged to contact Mountain View Dental today.