When to Consider Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Wisdom teeth are surrounded by many misconceptions, including the notion that everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth removed during their teen years. While many people do need these molars extracted, the most recent research indicates that there’s no dental or health benefit to removing wisdom teeth that don’t cause problems. 

So, when should you consider wisdom tooth extraction? Dr. Afshin Vahadi and Dr. Vafa Mirshams at Lone Star Dental Care recommend wisdom tooth removal if your wisdom teeth cause pain or will likely cause problems in the future. 

In this blog, we dive deeper into this topic and explore the top signs that you may need to have your wisdom teeth removed. 

You should consider wisdom tooth extraction if …

If your teeth currently cause problems or are likely to cause problems, you might benefit from wisdom tooth extraction. Wisdom teeth can cause a variety of problems, including pain and spacing issues. These molars tend to cause problems because many people simply don’t have room for them to grow. 

Wisdom teeth can erupt at odd angles, including parallel to your gum line. Teeth that come in very crookedly can cause other teeth to shift and cause crowding issues. If your tooth doesn’t have room to fully emerge, it’s called partially impacted. This can increase your risk of developing gum disease and infections such as pericoronitis, swelling or inflammation of your gums. Almost one-quarter (24%) of people experience impacted wisdom teeth. 

However, some wisdom teeth don’t emerge at all. Teeth trapped under your gum are called impacted. Impacted teeth can also lead to infections as well as cyst development. Impacted wisdom teeth can even damage your jaw bone or tooth roots.

In other words, you should consider wisdom teeth extraction if you’re currently dealing with the symptoms of impacted or partially impacted teeth. You might also consider extraction if it’s very likely your molars will cause problems. Dental X-rays can show the position and angle of your teeth. For instance, if X-ray imaging shows that your wisdom teeth are angled horizontally, they’ll likely cause problems. Removing such wisdom teeth can help you avoid the unwanted complications of impacted and partially impacted wisdom teeth.

Dr. Vahadi and Dr. Mirshams can determine if extraction is better for you based on a comprehensive dental exam, a review of your symptoms (if any), and a careful evaluation of your X-ray images. 

You might not need extraction if …

Did you know your wisdom teeth are the third set of molars? Anthropologists surmise that these  chompers originally were intended to help our ancestors chew and grind rough plants, seeds, and nuts. This could explain the evolutionary trend that more and more people are born without wisdom teeth. In fact, about 22% of people throughout the world are born without wisdom teeth.  Obviously, if you don’t have wisdom teeth, you don’t need them extracted. 

There’s another case in which you don’t need to have these teeth removed. If your wisdom teeth emerge without any issues, are aligned properly, and don’t contribute to overcrowding, there’s no need to extract them. 

Do you need wisdom tooth extraction?

Here at Lone Star Dental Care, you don’t have to wait to consider your options until your wisdom teeth start to cause problems. We encourage everyone to know the status of their own wisdom teeth, and if needed, we can guide you with your next steps toward extraction.

To learn more about wisdom teeth and the benefits of wisdom tooth extraction, call either our Plano or Frisco, Texas office.  You can also request an appointment online.

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