In between the ages of 16 to 25, a third set of molars erupts, known as the wisdom teeth. In the past, our ancestors needed the third set of molars to help chew raw foods. However, now wisdom teeth do not serve much of a purpose. For the majority of people, they need their wisdom teeth removed. Wisdom tooth removal is a fairly common procedure that is needed to resolve current and future dental problems caused by the wisdom teeth. While millions of wisdom teeth are removed each year, not everyone needs their wisdom teeth removed. As your dentist in Clarksville, we have the information you need to determine if you need to have your wisdom teeth extracted.
Do I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
There are several reasons that may require you to have your wisdom teeth removed. Often, our jaws are simply not large enough to support another set of molars. As a result, when the wisdom teeth erupt, they cause serious overcrowding issues. In some cases, they can cause damage to the adjacent teeth. The wisdom teeth may not come in aligned correctly. It is not uncommon for the wisdom teeth to erupt sideways or tilted. As a result, pain, inflammation, and even infection can occur.
Other times, the wisdom teeth may become impacted or partially impacted. This results when the wisdom teeth are not able to properly erupt from the gum tissue. They may become stuck in the gum or jaw bone. Often, this leads to pain and infection.
When any of these situations occurs, it is often recommended to have the wisdom teeth removed as soon as possible. The longer you wait to have your wisdom teeth removed, the more likely damage to the other teeth will occur.
How are Wisdom Teeth Removed?
It is recommended your wisdom teeth are evaluated around the age of 16, even if they have yet to erupt. During an examination, we are able to predict the eruption of the wisdom teeth and any potential problems. However, if you are older than 16, we can still perform the necessary examination. If we find that your wisdom teeth are causing problems or have the potential to cause problems, we will recommend you have them extracted.
The wisdom teeth are removed using a simple surgical procedure. Often, sedation is used to ensure the extraction causes minimal pain and discomfort. A local anesthesia is also used to help numb the area. The dentist will then use a customized extraction plan to remove the teeth. In some cases, you will require sutures, such as if the wisdom teeth were impacted. After the teeth are removed, you are able to go home the same day. For about a week, you will experience some slight discomfort while healing and will need to take extra precaution to avoid causing irritation to the area of extraction.
If you suspect you may need your wisdom teeth removed, we encourage you to contact our office to schedule a consultation. We will evaluate the teeth and make recommendations for treatment.