Not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth extracted. In some cases, there is room for the third molars or the person doesn’t have them. However, many problems arise if you need them removed and wait too long. The need for wisdom teeth removal is generally on a case by case basis and up to the recommendation by your dentist.
Why Wisdom Teeth Are Removed
Once used for a proficiency to grind up plant matter, our third molars have now become a problem for almost everyone. Whether your wisdom teeth are impacted, below the gums, or erupted, have grown in, tooth extraction is usually necessary.
Wisdom teeth are often removed when they are growing at an angle, are trapped in the jawbone, or partially erupt. These impacted wisdom teeth cause many problems including:
- Pain or discomfort
- Tooth decay if partially erupted
- Damage to nearby tooth or bone
- Cyst development
- Inability to straighten teeth with orthodontics
Even cosmetic dentistry reasons for removal from overcrowded teeth have an underlying functionality benefit. Improperly aligned teeth cause trouble with biting and chewing food. Additionally, brushing and flossing teeth becomes challenging when needed to prevent tooth decay and gingivitis.
Do You Need Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth are removed for current problems and to prevent those in the future. You need wisdom teeth removed when there are any of the following issues:
- Damage to other teeth by pushing them
- Trouble cleaning wisdom teeth properly
- Jaw damage from cysts formed that can damage nerves
- Sinus problems, such as pain, pressure, and congestion
- Gum inflammation around the area
- Tooth decay from inflamed gums and bacteria growth
- Crowding and alignment issues from impacted wisdom teeth
Keeping a close eye on the alignment of your wisdom teeth is key to preventing many problems. It is also a good idea if you have already received orthodontic treatment. Impacted or erupted wisdom teeth can re-shift aligned teeth.
Getting wisdom teeth extracted at a young age is also recommended. Oral surgery success is increased due to the roots and bone not yet fully formed. This results in fewer complications and a faster recovery process than in those who are older.
Wisdom teeth don’t need to be removed if they are healthy, fully grown in, positioned correctly, and able to be cleaned properly. However, there are still some cases where these need to be removed if they aren’t causing issues. Such times include wisdom teeth that are symptom-free but diseased.
What to Expect During Teeth Extraction
Wisdom teeth removal is normally an outpatient procedure. You are able to go into the doctor’s office and return home the same afternoon. The dental staff will explain any instructions for the procedure, such as needing a ride home, medications, and eating beforehand. You will know exactly what will be done and any aftercare required.
During the dental procedure, there are different levels of anesthesia available. Based on the complexity of the procedure and your comfort level, it may involve the following:
- Local anesthesia – Injections of anesthesia are used near the place of extraction. This will numb the site and leave you aware with only slight pressure and movement noticed.
- Sedation anesthesia – Intravenous (IV) anesthesia is used to suppress consciousness. There is no pain and limited memory of the tooth extraction. This is used in addition to local anesthesia.
- General anesthesia – This type can be inhaled or intravenous. The dental team closely monitors vital signs while you are unconscious.
The dentist or oral surgeon will then proceed to make an incision, remove bone and tooth pieces necessary, cleans the site, and stitches the wound closed. Gauze is also applied to control bleeding and promote clotting.
Dentistry in Columbia, MD
Columbia Smiles provides wisdom teeth removal and other family dentistry services in Columbia, MD. We serve Howard County to prevent and treat dental problems. Our services provide the care needed for healthy smiles.