On the Fence About Your Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, typically emerge between the ages of 17 and 21. They are the last set of teeth to develop and are located at the very back of the mouth. However, due to evolution, our jaws have shrunk over time, often leaving insufficient room for these late bloomers. This lack of space can lead to various complications, prompting many dental professionals to recommend their removal. But is third molar extraction always necessary? Let’s delve into the pros and cons of this common dental procedure.
The extraction of wisdom teeth is generally easier and safer in younger patients, typically between the ages of 18-21. The surgery takes less time, and there are lower chances of post-surgical complications occurring in younger patients.
Pros of Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
Reducing the Risk of Crowding
One of the primary reasons for wisdom teeth removal is to prevent crowding. Wisdom teeth have a 44% chance of emerging at an angle, potentially pushing into neighboring teeth. This can result in teeth crowding, with the roots of the impacted teeth possibly pushing into neighboring teeth. If these semi-impacted or impacted third molars
cause crowding, the patient might need orthodontic treatment.
Avoiding Impacted Teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth, those that do not fully emerge from the gums, can cause a host of problems. They often erupt at a different angle than your other teeth, and their roots can push into another tooth. Or, they may erupt and stick out halfway. These teeth create holes or spaces that can trap food particles, leading to oral infections. An infected mouth will feel uncomfortable and develop a bad odor. You might even have inflamed gums if you do not treat the issue promptly.
Wisdom teeth, due to their location at the back of the mouth, can be challenging to clean properly. The accumulated debris can lead to bacterial infections that spread to neighboring teeth and cause cavities and other issues, like gum disease. Removing the third molars can make oral hygiene easier and more effective, reducing the risk of such problems.
Prevents Damage to Nearby Teeth
Wisdom teeth can potentially damage adjacent teeth as they erupt and grow. They can cause bone loss and root resorption of the adjacent second molars. Removing the third molars can prevent this damage and maintain the health of your other teeth.
Reduces the Risk of Oral Disease and Inflammation
Impacted wisdom teeth can lead to pericoronitis, a painful, inflammatory condition that can recur. Additionally, cysts or tumors can form around impacted wisdom teeth, leading to more serious problems and requiring more complex procedures for removal.
Improves Oral Comfort
Impacted or misaligned third molars can cause discomfort or pain in the mouth. This discomfort can manifest as difficulty opening the mouth, swelling, and even difficulty in eating. Removal of the problematic wisdom teeth can alleviate these symptoms and improve overall oral comfort.
Cons of Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
Like any surgical procedure, third molar removal comes with potential risks and complications. Some people experience post-surgery complications such as infections, especially if they use tobacco or are over the age of 25. Nerves and blood vessels can be damaged during the procedure, causing bleeding and usually temporary numbness in the tongue or face. In very rare cases, serious infections may occur.
Anesthesia is used during the extraction process to ensure patient comfort. However, if you have ever experienced complications with anesthesia, it can be risky to undergo teeth removal surgery. It’s crucial to disclose your medical history to your surgeon beforehand as an allergic reaction might result in more complications.
Money Saver (Wisdom Teeth Might Be a Health Issue)
While the extraction of wisdom teeth can prevent potential dental issues, it’s worth noting that the procedure can be costly. However, it’s important to weigh this immediate cost against the potential long-term savings from avoiding future dental problems.
The recovery time after removal can be a drawback for some people. It usually takes a few days to a week to recover fully from the procedure. During this time, you may experience pain, swelling, and difficulty eating certain foods.
Potential for Dry Socket
Dry socket is a condition that can occur after a tooth extraction, where the blood clot that normally forms in the socket is lost, exposing the bone and nerves. This can lead to severe pain and delayed healing. While it’s not extremely common, it’s more likely to occur with wisdom tooth extractions than with other types of extractions.
Possible Changes in Sinus Pressure
For some patients, particularly those with roots of the upper wisdom teeth extending close to or into the sinus cavity, removal of wisdom teeth can lead to sinus issues. These can include feelings of pressure or sinusitis, although this is relatively rare.
It’s important to remember that the decision to remove wisdom teeth should be made in consultation with a dental professional, taking into account your individual circumstances and overall oral health.
Should You Remove Your Wisdom Teeth?
The decision to remove your third morals should be made in consultation with a dental professional, considering your individual circumstances. If your wisdom teeth are not causing any problems and are not likely to in the future, extraction may not be necessary. However, if they are causing discomfort, are difficult to clean, or are leading to crowding or other dental issues, removal may be the best course of action.
In conclusion, while wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s essential to have a thorough discussion with your dentist or oral surgeon about the potential benefits and drawbacks in your specific case.
While The Smile Bar PH does not offer wisdom teeth removal or other dental services, we are committed to helping you maintain a bright and confident smile after your dental health needs have been addressed. Our specialty lies in providing top-notch teeth whitening services.
Even if you’ve had your third molars removed, teeth whitening can significantly improve the look of your remaining teeth. So, while wisdom teeth can often be a source of dental issues, remember there are also many ways to ensure your smile is at its best. At The Smile Bar PH, we’re here to help you achieve that radiant smile you’ve always wanted.