Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that erupt sometime during your late teens or early twenties. For most of us, they’re fully developed by age 30. But wisdom teeth are difficult to clean and often find themselves impacted in the bone or against adjacent teeth, requiring removal.
These third molars are called wisdom teeth because they usually come in later than other teeth, when most of us are a bit older and wiser. While some people have no problems with their wisdom teeth and they come in just fine, other people have third molars that are impacted, meaning they don’t erupt into the mouth all the way or come in at an angle. When this happens, wisdom teeth can crowd other teeth and cause pain.
Impacted wisdom teeth that are left untreated can also lead to other problems, such as gum disease, tooth decay, and even cysts. That’s why wisdom tooth removal is often recommended.
There is no one answer to the question of when wisdom teeth should be removed. Some people never get their wisdom teeth or need to have them removed. For others, wisdom teeth can cause a variety of problems, including pain, crowding, and infection.
The decision of whether or not to remove wisdom teeth is one that should be made by you and our San Diego dentist, after considering all of the pros and cons of oral surgery. On the one hand, wisdom teeth removal is a fairly simple and straightforward procedure that can help to avoid future problems. On the other hand, you’ll need to take some time off for recovery, meaning missed work or school.
If your wisdom teeth are positioned in a way that put other teeth at risk or are prone to continued reinfection, we highly recommend having them removed. The benefits of wisdom tooth removal go beyond just preventing soreness or hard-to-clean teeth. Ultimately you want to do what you can to keep the adjacent teeth as healthy as possible. If your wisdom tooth is impacted against one of them, you run the risk of double the dental problems.
Wisdom tooth removal involves numbing the area around the tooth and then removing it, sometimes in smaller pieces. This method is generally considered to be the safest and most effective way to ensure your comfort without any damage to the adjacent teeth or oral tissues.
You can choose to be fully awake or sedated during a wisdom tooth removal. Your comfort and personal preferences will determine the next steps. However, our San Diego dentists typically recommend sedation so that you can relax as best as possible during the procedure. That being said, it’s not uncommon for some people to have their wisdom teeth removed using only local anesthetic to numb those areas of their mouth.
There are typically two different types of dental extractions we perform in San Diego: simple extractions and surgical extractions. With surgical wisdom tooth removal, the procedure is typically quicker and the patient is normally receiving some type of sedation to tune things out. But it can be performed under local anesthetic as well. Surgical extractions may require segmenting the tooth in order to remove it.
With a simple dental extraction, the procedure involves fully erupted teeth that are more accessible, removing them because of aggressive tooth decay, periodontal disease, or other non-restorable conditions.
The wisdom tooth removal process is almost always a surgical extraction, due to the nature and positioning of these third molars.
It’s generally recommended that you schedule a consultation to discuss the removal of wisdom teeth once you’re in high school and before college, or if you’re starting to experience painful swelling in the back of your mouth. Fifth Avenue Dental Arts offers San Diego wisdom tooth removal consultations to help you get all of the answers you need. Contact our office today to request a no-obligation dental exam.