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 determined on a case-by-case basis and up to the recommendation of your dentist.
At Columbia Smiles, our experienced team, led by Dr. Michael Hsu, will examine your mouth to determine if wisdom teeth removal is necessary. In the case that you do have a need for wisdom teeth removal, our team will recommend the safest, most comfortable experience possible.
Why Wisdom Teeth Are Removed
Once used for their proficiency to grind up plant matter, now the third molars create more problems than the benefits they offer. 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 – Having impacted teeth can cause discomfort and pain as the teeth try to come in.
- Infection and decay – Impaction makes it difficult to keep wisdom teeth clean, leading to decay and other infections.
- Crowding – Impacted teeth can push on the nearby teeth, causing them to become crooked and misaligned.
- Cysts and tumors – Impacted teeth can cause cysts or tumors to form in the gums around them, leading to more problems.
There are also reasons within cosmetic dentistry for their removal. Wisdom teeth extractions have an underlying functionality benefit, as Improperly aligned teeth cause issues with biting and chewing food.
Do You Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth are removed for existing problems and to prevent future issues. You might need to have your wisdom teeth extracted if you’re experiencing:
- Damage to other teeth by wisdom tooth pressure
- Trouble cleaning wisdom teeth properly
- Jaw damage from cysts formed
- Sinus problems, such as pain, pressure, and congestion
- Gum inflammation
- Tooth decay
- 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 in your early adult years is 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 they need to be removed if they aren’t causing issues. For example, if they are symptom-free but diseased.
What to Expect During Teeth Extraction
Wisdom teeth removal is normally an outpatient procedure. You go into the oral surgeon’s office and return home the same afternoon. The surgical 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 for wisdom teeth procedures. 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 the bone and tooth pieces necessary, cleans the site, and stitches the wound closed. Gauze is also applied to control bleeding and promote clotting.
Reach Out to Columbia Smiles Today for a Wisdom Tooth Consultation in Columbia, MD
Columbia Smiles provides wisdom teeth consultations and other family dentistry services in Columbia, MD. We serve residents throughout Howard County to prevent and treat dental problems. Patient comfort and safety are our top priority, making the experience at Columbia Smiles a pleasant one.