Your wisdom teeth, also known as the third molars, are the largest in your mouth. Unfortunately, many patients’ jaws are not wide enough to accommodate these sizable teeth, which can cause them to fail to erupt properly. Wisdom tooth extraction is typically recommended when the wisdom teeth are impacted.
Some patients may not need a wisdom tooth extraction, however, if the third molars are not impacted. If they are able to emerge properly without incident, the patient may be able to keep those teeth.
Nonetheless, a significant number of people choose to have their wisdom teeth removed as a preventive measure. You should be evaluated by an oral surgeon to determine what interventions, if any, are most appropriate in your case. You should also make sure that you understand the risks and benefits of the surgical procedure before making a decision on how to proceed.
The oral surgeon can examine your jaw and take x-rays to determine whether the wisdom teeth are impacted and make recommendations for the appropriate course of treatment.
If you do have an impacted wisdom tooth, having it extracted can provide a level of prevention against a number of negative outcomes associated with this condition. Impacted wisdom teeth are more susceptible to developing issues like cysts and abscesses.
It’s also very difficult to keep those teeth clean because they are at the rear of the jaw, so bacteria can easily collect in the area. Those bacteria can then put surrounding teeth at risk for cavities and gum disease.
The signs of wisdom tooth impaction can be evident as soon as early adolescence, and patients in their late teens and early twenties are often candidates for the procedure.
The extraction is typically more straightforward in younger patients, as the roots of the wisdom teeth are shorter and their attachment is not quite as strong. The recovery period also is shorter in younger patients. Most oral surgeons recommend that patients have their wisdom teeth removed by age 25, as a result.
Having impacted wisdom teeth removed can benefit your oral health and your overall well-being, so you should schedule an evaluation with our team at Northern Texas Facial & Oral Surgery to see if your wisdom teeth might be impacted.