Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth to erupt on each side of the upper and lower jaws, usually in the late teens. While some people fail to develop any third molars, most people do develop one or more of these teeth, and these teeth are notorious for not erupting properly and instead becoming impacted. If that is the case, having them removed is necessary to prevent painful problems.
An oral surgeon performs the removal of impacted wisdom teeth because they are not like normal teeth that can be extracted by a dentist since they are still partially or completely embedded in the jaw. A panoramic x-ray can show the position of the wisdom teeth in relation to all of the teeth in the jaw to help determine if extraction is necessary or advisable.
Reason for removing wisdom teeth can include:
• The jaw may not be large enough for them. They may not have room to break through your gums and take their place among the other teeth.
• They may erupt only partway, with gum tissue covering over part of them. This makes a trap for food particles and bacteria which can and lead to painful infection.
• Often, one or more wisdom teeth comes in at the wrong angle, such as sideways, or with the top of the tooth facing to either side, which will not result in a functional tooth but can cause pain and problems.
Even those who develop normal and healthy wisdom teeth may still be advised to have them removed since they are extremely far back in the mouth and very difficult to brush, floss, and clean around. Like all teeth, if wisdom teeth are not properly cared for, they will eventually cause problems, but they may even be too far back in the mouth for a dentist to reach in order to treat, in which case their removal is the best option.
At Mall of Georgia Dentistry, we know that wisdom teeth can be some of the biggest trouble-makers in your mouth, so don’t be surprised for us to check them and make recommendations at any appointment at our office! Surgery to remove wisdom teeth is very common and routine and can save a lot of suffering and more expensive problems in the long run. If you have questions or concerns about your own or your child’s wisdom teeth, please contact our office and we will b happy to help you.