Do I Need to Extract my Wisdom Teeth?

relaxed woman during wisdom tooth extractionNo one who visits the dentist wants to hear they have to lose a tooth, but sometimes, tooth extraction protects your smile. The most often removed teeth are the third molars, often called wisdom teeth. In rare cases, patients’ jaws are able to accommodate this additional set of molars, but most patients will need to have these teeth removed. Read on to learn more about why wisdom teeth are so often extracted and what to expect from your tooth extraction procedure.

What are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars, the large back teeth used for chewing and grinding foods, which develop in the teens and early twenties. Our ancient ancestors needed this third set of teeth because a coarse diet lead to frequent tooth loss by this age. Today, our refined foods and improved preventive dental care mean most patients still have their complete, healthy smile when wisdom teeth emerge.

Why do we Recommend Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

Because wisdom teeth erupt so late in development and people no longer regularly lose teeth early in life, we may need to remove third molars. The lack of space to accommodate this additional set of large teeth can lead to numerous oral health issues, including:

  • Impaction – teeth that are unable to erupt from the gum line can lead to pain and discomfort, tooth decay, and other issues.
  • Crowding – when the jaw is not large enough for the additional set of molars, teeth may move closer together and/or overlap, making them more difficult to clean.
  • Dental drift – if wisdom teeth shift surrounding teeth during their eruption, the result can be a change in bite (the way teeth fit together) that requires orthodontic treatment.

Is the Wisdom Tooth Removal Process Difficult?

It can be depending on the number, location, and position of the teeth. Wisdom teeth present some additional problems because they are so far back on the jaw line. Additionally, these teeth are much more likely to be impacted, unable to erupt from the gum line. That means removal will need to be surgical. The final complication is that third molars are typically very large, making them much more difficult to extract. However, a skilled dentist can make even the most advanced tooth extractions safe and comfortable.

Meet the PeaksView Dental Team

Are you new to PeaksView Dental? We’re so happy you’ve found our Bedford dental office and our educational dentistry blog. If you’d like to find out more about wisdom teeth, tooth extractions, or any of our dental procedures, please don’t hesitate to contact our caring dentist and team. We’re always happy to help.

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