Wisdom teeth, also known as the third molars, are usually the last teeth to erupt. Located at the back of the mouth, they sometimes fail to grow properly. If the molars are healthy, fully erupted, and correctly positioned, they do not need removal.
However, if they do not have room to grow properly, the dentist may recommend removal. Find out why dentists recommend removing all four wisdom teeth.
Wisdom teeth grow at the end of each row of teeth. They usually erupt when an individual is between 17 and 21. While most people have four wisdom teeth, some have fewer or none. It is possible to have more than four wisdom teeth (supernumerary teeth). Many people believe that at one time, wisdom teeth may have been necessary for chewing coarse or rough foods. Today, the teeth are not very functional.
Sometimes, wisdom teeth fail to erupt or grow properly and may cause dental problems. When this happens, dentists usually recommend removal. Reasons to remove wisdom teeth include:
Wisdom teeth are more susceptible to decay. Dentists may recommend the removal of all four teeth to avoid future complications.
Many dentists believe it is better to remove the molars while the patient is young before the bone and roots develop fully. Recovery is usually faster in younger patients. Wisdom tooth removal may be necessary if the patient experiences pain or repeated soft tissue infections behind the tooth.
The American Dental Association also recommends wisdom teeth removal in cases of tumors, cysts or fluid-filled sacs, and gum disease. Extensive tooth decay and damage to neighboring teeth may also necessitate wisdom teeth removal.
While many people live their lives without needing wisdom teeth removal, you can live comfortably without the molars. They are not necessary for oral function or aesthetics. Many people do not even realize they do not have or have fewer wisdom teeth. Your dentist may recommend removal even when your wisdom teeth are not causing problems. It helps to avoid future complications. An oral exam can help determine if teeth are erupting properly.
Wisdom tooth removal is an outpatient procedure that usually takes less than an hour. Most patients require sedation or local anesthesia during the surgery, but some require general anesthesia. After numbing the area, dentists use special instruments to loosen and disconnect the tissue surrounding the tooth.
It helps to remove the tooth effectively. In some cases, it may be necessary to remove some bone matter. Dentists stitch the surgical site before placing gauze to promote clotting and enhance healing. Wisdom tooth recovery will vary from a few hours to several days, depending on the individual.
For more on why dentists recommend removing all four wisdom teeth, visit Today's Family Dental. Our offices are in Tampa and Lutz, Florida. Call (813) 212-8700 to book an appointment today.