Your wisdom teeth are the largest teeth in your mouth and therefore the most likely to become impacted. Most people’s jaws are not large enough to accommodate these third molars.
Impacted wisdom teeth should be extracted by an oral surgeon. A surgical procedure is typically necessary because the surgeon may also need to remove bone around the impacted teeth in order to access and extract them.
A few patients may not need to pursue wisdom tooth removal, but all patients should at least consult with an oral surgeon for an evaluation to determine whether extraction is recommended.
Patients with impacted wisdom teeth can develop a number of oral health issues as a result. These teeth often cause discomfort as they continue to try to attempt to push through the gums. They can also damage surrounding teeth or knock them out of alignment as they try to erupt.
Additionally, impacted wisdom teeth are more prone to developing cysts or tumors. It’s quite difficult to keep the back of the mouth adequately clean, and partially erupted wisdom teeth can create an environment that is welcoming to infection or abscesses.
Many patients may be tempted to wait until such symptoms develop before exploring this treatment, but it is not necessary to delay extraction. By viewing the jaw structure and x-rays, the surgeon can determine whether extraction is indicated in patients as young as their mid-teens.
Patients are encouraged to have their wisdom teeth removed by age 25 because it is easier to remove the wisdom teeth in younger patients, who also recuperate faster after the surgery. Nonetheless, older patients still may be appropriate candidates for wisdom tooth removal. Get your surgeon’s advice on this.
While every patient’s case is unique, a large number of people will gain oral health benefits from having their wisdom teeth removed. If you still have your wisdom teeth and they have not erupted properly, contact our office to schedule an initial consultation and learn more about the recommended treatment in your case.