Wisdom teeth are the common name of third molars. They get their name because they usually come into your mouth at about age 18-21 , the time when you are entering young adulthood (19 year-olds are always so wise and always make great decisions, right? Such an apt name). They are the most common teeth to need extraction because most people simply do not have very much space in their mouths for them, and they are likely to cause problems.
How Do I Know If My Wisdom Teeth Need to be Removed?
The best way to tell if your wisdom teeth should be removed is by visiting your dentist and going through a thorough dental examination. X-rays will be taken and the alignment and position of the wisdom teeth will be evaluated. The most common causes for wisdom teeth removal are pain, infection, gum disease, deep cavities, damage to adjacent teeth from improper eruption, non-restorable decay, cysts, or tumors. Some wisdom teeth are also very difficult to properly care for or get in the way of orthodontic or dental treatment plans; they are usually removed in these cases as well.
Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Monitored
Because our mouths change over time (and this is especially true of adolescents and young adults) wisdom teeth should be monitored. Regular dental visits allow us to keep a close eye on wisdom teeth, which are prone to developing problems like gum disease and decay, due to their position in the mouth. Some lucky individuals have sufficient space in their mouths for all of their wisdom teeth and are able to properly clean them, but for many of us, their removal is necessary to maintain optimal oral health.
General Dentist vs. Oral Surgeon
At Canyon Gate Dental we evaluate and treat many wisdom teeth cases successfully and comfortably, but some wisdom teeth are better treated in the office of an oral surgeon. Due to impaction (when a tooth stops emerging), teeth growing in at weird angles, root proximity to nerves, sinuses, and other anatomy, and other complicating factors, wisdom tooth surgery can be a little rougher for some people. Additionally, an oral surgeon can offer a deeper sedation experience than our general dental office—for those who prefer to be asleep during dental work, a surgeon’s office is a great option for wisdom teeth removal. During our thorough evaluations, we can give you a good idea what kind of case you might have and determine whether or not sedation is for you.