Your wisdom teeth, the final set of molars at the back of your mouth, can be a lot more trouble than they are worth. There are several reasons many dentists recommend removing them in the teenage years. At Alpine Dentistry, we offer wisdom teeth removal services. We can consult with you on the right time to consider wisdom teeth removal for you or your family members.
Why is Wisdom Teeth Removal a Recommended Practice
If wisdom teeth grow and position properly in a large enough mouth, there would be no reason to remove them. However, that is seldom the case. There are many things that can go wrong as a wisdom tooth reaches the surface of your gums:
- Teeth come in at the wrong angle: there can be many negative impacts of this. The tooth might crowd other teeth and put pressure on them, causing damage to the surrounding teeth, gums, or supporting bone. This can also cause cysts to form, as well as other infections. Wisdom teeth can also grow in the wrong direction entirely.
- Teeth do not align with other teeth: this can be either teeth on the same row or corresponding teeth that come together when you bite. This misalignment can have serious impacts on your bite.
- There is not enough room in the mouth: when the jaw and gums don’t have enough room for wisdom teeth, this can push and shift the rest of your teeth out of alignment.
- Teeth only partially emerge: wisdom teeth that are not completely emerged are difficult to clean. Many parts of the teeth are hidden and create effective pathways for bacteria to hide. This increases your risk for gum disease and other infections.
- Teeth remain completely under the gums: Teeth that have not surfaced in your gums are a continual risk. They can put pressure on the rest of your teeth and your jaw.
Is it Better to Wait to Remove Wisdom Teeth Until Symptoms Appear?
Sometimes the issues with wisdom teeth are not as pronounced and obvious early on. X-rays can show the progression of wisdom teeth before they surface and help us predict if there are going to be issues. But some issues with wisdom teeth may not emerge until later on when the process to remove them is more difficult. This is why many dentists recommend removing wisdom teeth at an early age before these signs appear. If they are removed before the teeth are fully formed, the recovery is generally faster.
What is the Wisdom Teeth Removal Process Like?
Wisdom teeth removal can be performed with local, sedation, or general anesthetic. The main difference is how conscious or aware you are of what is going on during the procedure. Even when local anesthetic is used and you are fully conscious, the procedure is meant to be pain-free, though you may feel some pressure.
Your dentist or oral surgeon makes an incision to expose each tooth and takes several steps to remove it. This can involve dividing the tooth into sections for easier removal or extracting it in one try. Once your wisdom teeth are removed, the extraction sites are cleaned and stitches.
You will be given time to recover while still under the anesthetic before you are ready to leave. You will also be given a prescription for pain medication as well as instructions on managing your recovery. The recovery can be challenging because your mouth needs a lot of help to heal properly. This includes regular cleaning, restrictions on what and how you eat, and pain management.
While intensive, wisdom teeth removal is a great preventative measure to help have a healthy mouth, and Alpine Dentistry in Utah will be here to help you through every step of the process.