Your wisdom teeth are the final set of molars to emerge, typically arriving during the mid to late teens or early twenties. More often than not, they erupt at an angle, become stuck under the gums, or do not have adequate space to emerge. In rare cases, they grow in straight and fit nicely into the space at the back of the jaw. If they are not causing you any pain or discomfort, you may wonder if it is even worthwhile to undergo surgery for removal.
Being Proactive to Reduce Future Problems
For many patients, wisdom teeth removal is a good option because it reduces the chances of complications later on. Even though teeth might not be painful now, as you get older, these molars may shift or begin causing problems. Plus, as humans have evolved, we no longer need these extra teeth.
No pain does not necessarily equal no problems. If this third set of molars is impacted or trapped under the gums, you may not realize they are there. However, they can still develop infections, create cysts, and crowd adjacent teeth from below. If the tooth has only partially broken through the gums, it can be difficult to clean and may develop cavities or gum disease. This can spread to surrounding teeth and cause deterioration of the tissue and bone.
Since the rest of your teeth are already in position long before your wisdom teeth come in, the pressure from new teeth that do not have enough room can crowd existing teeth and cause misalignment. Over time, a previously straight smile may become crooked. Extracting wisdom teeth early can eliminate this issue before it ever occurs.
Although wisdom teeth removal can be performed at any age, recovery is often faster and less painful for young adults. When wisdom teeth first emerge, they have shorter, straighter roots, and the jawbone is softer to accommodate them. The older you get, the longer the roots become, and they may start to curve. Your jawbone hardens too, and extraction can be more difficult.
Is Wisdom Tooth Extraction the Right Choice?
Every patient is different, and the choice to undergo surgery is a personal one. Dr. Minto conducts a thorough examination to understand how your wisdom teeth are developing and whether they may cause problems as they begin to erupt or later in life. He will discuss your options, answer any questions you may have, and ensure you have a clear understanding of the process and recovery. This includes going over options for anesthesia and pain management to keep you as relaxed and comfortable as possible.
Wisdom tooth removal is a very common procedure and typically takes less than an hour. You will be able to recover at home and can expect to be feeling better in just a few days. Having these teeth extracted before they cause problems can give you greater peace of mind for the future and enhance your overall oral health. If you are unsure about whether you should have your wisdom teeth removed, especially if they are not currently causing any pain, schedule a consultation at Minto Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery to discuss your options.