Wisdom Teeth Removal: Do You Really Want to Wait?
If you are a young adult, it is very likely your dentist may have recommended that you get your wisdom teeth removed soon. Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that most people get in their late teens or early twenties. The common problem with wisdom teeth is that they typically come in misaligned and require removal before other oral health problems set in.
Misaligned wisdom teeth can position themselves horizontally, be angled toward or away from the second molars, or be angled inward or outward.
If your wisdom teeth are not currently causing problems or pain, you may have the option of waiting it out. However, your dentist’s recommendation for wisdom teeth removal can prevent unwanted future oral health complications. The tooth extraction procedure is a small price to pay for the prevention of more painful tooth and gum issues down the road.
Poor alignment of wisdom teeth can crowd or damage adjacent teeth, the jawbone, or nerves. Not to mention the fact that crowded teeth in the hard-to-reach back of your mouth are very difficult to clean, which means you will need to make your oral hygiene routine more diligent to prevent cavities and gum disease, including more frequent x-rays and cleanings.
Wisdom teeth can also become impacted. They enclose themselves within the soft tissues or jawbones. Your wisdom teeth can then only partially erupt through the gum line, which easily allows bacteria to enter around the tooth that causes tooth decay and infection. If your wisdom teeth are impacted and infection, you will experience pain, swelling, jaw stiffness and general malaise.
Each year, despite the risks of any surgical procedure, millions of healthy, asymptomatic wisdom teeth are extracted from young patients in the United States, often as they prepare to leave for college. Oral surgeons have long argued that if you decide to forgo wisdom teeth removal at a young age, you are simply postponing the inevitable. According a professor at UNC School of Dentistry, Dr. Raymond P. White, “roughly 60 to 70 percent of patients with wisdom teeth will eventually have trouble with them.”
Although the thought of oral surgery or wisdom teeth extraction is easy to postpone or dismiss when you are not currently experiencing any oral health problems, it can actually save you a lot of future pain and suffering as well as dental procedure expenses if you elect to choose to remove your wisdom teeth as preventative procedure. Keep in mind that many dental plans cover the removal of these teeth, which have partly grown in or are impacted below the gum. Gilreath Dental Associates offers comprehensive wisdom teeth removal with appropriate pain management options included.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV, Gilreath Dental Associates