You’ll need to get your wisdom tooth extracted! About 85% of adults hear their dentist recommend this treatment option. However, in recent times, most oral surgeons will assess your dental condition carefully before suggesting that you absolutely need wisdom teeth removal.
Understanding Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that erupt between the ages of 16 and 25. Results of research conducted at the National Center for Biotechnology Information show that nature intended for you to have those added teeth. And, you may want to think about getting them removed only if you’re facing any other dental issues, cosmetic or medical. If needed, many people opt to get braces when they are still in their early teens to make sure that the teeth align properly as they grow into adults. But, when the new molars start to appear, they could cause crowding and other conditions where the newly fixed alignment goes out of shape.
But, this factor is only a possibility. The new wisdom teeth could erupt perfectly in line with the existing dental structure and keep your smile intact.
Conditions Under which Wisdom Teeth Removal is Needed
When you arrive for a consultation or a routine checkup, your dentist may examine the status of your wisdom teeth. If they are healthy and painless, that’s great. But, if she detects any infections or other issues, she may begin by taking a series of x-rays and digital images to identify the cause and extent of the problem. You may receive prescriptions of antibiotics or other measures to resolve the issue.
Like Dr. Jennifer Silver at the South Center Dental clinic reveals, “We make sure the tooth has a real impact on the patient’s quality of life before we opt for any drastic measures like wisdom teeth removal. These effects can include excessive pain, regular infections, and misalignment of the other teeth. That’s when we may suggest getting the problem tooth eliminated.”
Read ahead for information about the main causes why your oral surgeon may decide on tooth extraction as the last recourse.
1. Partial Eruption of the Tooth
Check out this feature on the Crest website that explains how in some cases, the tooth may not emerge fully from the jaw bone. As a result, you may sense swelling and pain in the gum in case it covers a part of the tooth. If the gum gets infected or any other health issue like bleeding sets in, the pain may start to radiate to the other sections of the mouth. Further, partial teeth are often difficult to clean properly and routinely gather bacteria and plaque in the spaces between the other teeth. Your dentist will attempt to deal with the problem by using antibiotics. But, if the inflammation does not heal, she might opt for the wisdom teeth removal procedure. In rare cases, the tooth may not erupt at all and may remain embedded inside the gum causing severe pain in the jaw bone. In that case also, your dentist may choose to remove the tooth.
2. Impact on Neighboring Teeth
As long as the new wisdom teeth grow into place naturally and in the correct position, you may not develop any complications. But, often the new tooth does not align with its neighbors. Further, if there is insufficient space in the jaw bone, the tooth may erupt in a small confined space pushing aside the other teeth. In addition to the discomfort and pain in talking and chewing, you may find that the appearance of the other teeth is also getting affected resulting in a crooked smile.
3. Difficulty in Maintaining Dental Hygiene
The misaligned row of teeth or overcrowding in the oral cavity can make it hard for you to brush and floss properly. As a result of the toothbrush not reaching the inner corners of the mouth, you could develop tooth decay, cavities, and infections like periodontitis and pericoronitis. In the long run, you could end up with bone loss and a foul-smelling breath.
4. Tumors and Cysts in the Jaw Bone
Read this report on ScienceAlert and you will learn that the occurrence of tumors and cysts resulting from the wisdom tooth is a rare condition. However, it is not altogether impossible. Cysts develop when the sac adjacent to the affected tooth fills with fluid. If left untreated, it can result in the destruction of the root of the tooth or eat into the jawbone. If your dentist notices that you’re developing a cyst or tumor because of the new eruptions, she might recommend that you go for wisdom teeth removal.
Contraindications for Wisdom Teeth Removal
When discussing the need for tooth extraction, you’ll find that not only do dentists assess the need for wisdom teeth removal carefully, but they may also take into account other health issues before opting for the procedure. For instance, the age of the patient. If the patient is young and aged 35 years and younger, oral surgeons are more open to performing the procedure. However, with older patients, they prefer to leave the tooth untouched unless it has a high probability of causing more serious health complications.
Oral care doctors may also check you for medical issues before scheduling the treatment. Here are a few of the concerns your dentist may have.
- Steroid medication courses
- Liver disease
- Severe deficiencies and malnutrition
- Kidney disease
- Blood disorders like anemia or thalassemia
- Medications for suppressing the immune system
Having screened you carefully for any of these contraindications or medications you may be taking, the dentist will schedule your wisdom teeth removal procedure.
In today’s times, dentists are likely to suggest invasive procedures like tooth extractions only if they are absolutely essential. Sometimes, the experts are also likely to allow the tooth to remain if it is not causing any pain or major complications. Rely on the judgment of your dentist to give you the right advice when it comes to your wisdom teeth.