With a name like “wisdom teeth” it seems like they are something you’d want to keep around. However, for some Dallas, TX dental patients, wisdom teeth can be a source of problems, and in many cases, the answer is extraction in comfortable surroundings, before the onset of pain, and other complications. The removal of wisdom teeth is the most common reason for tooth extraction, and this in-office oral surgery can help you or your child avoid problems in the future.
A Few Facts About Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are more properly called “third molars.” They are generally the last teeth to come into the mouth, at the far back of the jaw. In typical cases, wisdom teeth begin to emerge from the gums between about the ages of 17 and 25 years. However, sometimes third molars emerge much later, and some people do not develop third molars at all. Precisely where an individual’s wisdom teeth were positioned, and when they would emerge used to be a matter of guesswork and waiting. Nowadays, when dentists take X-rays at a general appointment exam and cleaning they are able to monitor the development of wisdom teeth beneath the gums, observe their angles and the proximity to other teeth and bones, and make recommendations for future care.
How Do I Know If A Wisdom Tooth Should Come Out?
The average person probably cannot tell if a wisdom tooth should come out unless it is already emerging and causing pain, difficulty eating, or perhaps showing signs of decay. Attending regularly scheduled dental office visits allows your trusted dentist to monitor wisdom teeth beneath the gums, and head off trouble before it begins. Many times, wisdom teeth will be positioned at an angle, or behind healthy teeth. When they are blocked (“impacted”) they may push other teeth out of alignment as they try to force their way out. Planned wisdom tooth removal allows the dentist and your family to schedule removal before other teeth are pushed out of position, and before a blocked tooth tries to force itself out in an inconvenient or painful position.
What If I Decide to Wait It Out?
Occasionally, in consultation with your dentist, you may decide to delay removal. In most cases, when X-rays indicate one or more misaligned wisdom teeth, it makes more sense to schedule a single oral surgery appointment, and remove the teeth, rather than remove them only when they cause problems. Partially emerged wisdom teeth are also harder to clean, and can harbor oral bacteria at the gumline or in pockets of decay.
Make Smart Choices About Wisdom Tooth Extraction
If you have questions about wisdom tooth extraction, for yourself or on behalf of your child, contact our Dallas office today at 972- 307-7777. Euless area patients with wisdom tooth extraction questions can contact our Euless office today at 469-300-7677.