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Why Do Wisdom Teeth Have to Be Removed?

There are a variety of reasons why wisdom teeth – also known as third molars – often require removal, including complications that can arise from their position in the mouth, growth issues, pain, infection, and their impact on overall dental health.

Even if there may not be immediate cause for a patient’s wisdom teeth to be removed, problems may develop later on if removal is not performed. Here are some of the primary reasons for removing wisdom teeth, and answers to common questions about wisdom teeth.

What are the problems associated with wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are often removed to prevent or address problems caused by their growth, such as:

  • Overcrowding: There may not be enough room in a person’s mouth to accommodate wisdom teeth without causing crowding and misalignment of existing teeth. This can cause damage to adjacent teeth, affect the natural alignment of teeth, and potentially undo the benefits of previous orthodontic treatments.
  • Impaction: Wisdom teeth may not have enough room to emerge or grow properly and can become trapped (impacted) within your jaw. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain, swelling, and infection of the surrounding gum tissue.
  • Partial Eruption: If a wisdom tooth only partially emerges, it can create an opening that can become a breeding ground for bacteria, leading to oral infection and gum disease.
  • Cysts: Impacted wisdom teeth can lead to the formation of cysts that can damage the jawbone and surrounding teeth.
  • Decay: Due to their location at the back of the mouth, wisdom teeth are harder to clean. This can make them more susceptible to decay and gum disease than other teeth.
  • Pain and Discomfort: Wisdom teeth can cause pain, discomfort, and swelling, often indicating infection or other problems that necessitate their removal.

Do wisdom teeth always need to be removed?

Wisdom teeth do not always need to be removed. If your wisdom teeth are healthy, fully erupted, correctly positioned, and can be cleaned as part of daily hygiene practices, removal might not be necessary. Consult with Innovative Oral Surgery & Dental Implants to make an informed decision.

When do wisdom teeth usually emerge?

Wisdom teeth can emerge as early as age 16 and as late as the mid-20s. It is uncommon for them to erupt after turning 30.

Is it possible for my wisdom teeth to fall out naturally?

No, it is not normal for wisdom teeth to fall out. There are no “baby tooth” versions of wisdom teeth, and therefore they do not fall out naturally like baby teeth. If a wisdom tooth falls out, it may be a sign of an underlying issue related to tooth decay or gum disease affecting support structures which could cause the wisdom tooth to fall out.

Is there an age limit on extracting wisdom teeth?

No, an adult of any age can get their wisdom teeth removed, as long as they have no health complications. However, older adults may face increased risks due to potential underlying health conditions and changes in bone density.

What can I expect from the extraction procedure?

Wisdom tooth extraction is a common dental procedure. It involves making an incision in the gum tissue to access the tooth and underlying bone. If needed, the obstructing bone is removed to reach the tooth’s root. Segments of the tooth may be divided for easier extraction.

Once the tooth is removed, the site is sterilized, debris cleared, and stitches applied if necessary. Gauze is then placed over the extraction site to control bleeding and encourage the formation of a blood clot, facilitating the healing process.

What can I expect after the procedure?

Common aftereffects of wisdom tooth removal include bleeding, which can be managed by avoiding excessive spitting to preserve the blood clot in the socket and replacing gauze as directed.

Swelling and bruising typically diminish within a few days with the use of ice packs. Stitches, if present, may dissolve over time or require removal by your care provider.

Soreness is normal and can be alleviated with over-the-counter pain relievers or prescription medication if necessary, along with applying a cold pack to the jaw. Your oral surgeon will provide tailored aftercare instructions to make sure the site heals properly.

Experience the Difference in Our Approach to Oral Care

At Innovative Oral Surgery, wisdom tooth extraction is performed with the highest degree of care and precision. We provide personalized, patient-centered treatment that prioritizes your comfort and oral health. You can trust our experienced surgeons to handle your wisdom tooth extraction with compassion, respect, and expertise. Schedule your consultation today and experience the difference in our approach to oral care.