So, a commonly asked question is wisdom teeth. What are they and what do we do about them.
Lets start off with what they are. They are back teeth known as molars. We technically call them “3rd molars” and they are the very last teeth we have. Long ago, we had larger jaws that allowed us to have 32 teeth with no problems. However, we have smaller jaws now and a majority of the population has no room for these wisdom teeth.
What happens when we have no room, what happens to these teeth? Well, they get stuck. This is called impaction. Impactions have different types but all impacted teeth are stuck- most of the time under the gum tissue and in our bone. They don’t help us eat and they have zero function when they are impacted. In fact, impaction can cause problem- often time pain and possibly infection.
So, what do we do about impacted teeth, we want to avoid pain and infections. We remove them. Oral surgeons are specialists that remove these teeth and can put you to sleep.
Some wisdom teeth are not impacted. These teeth look like any other teeth in our mouths. What then? Well, it becomes a matter of how easy they are to maintain clean, cavity, and infection free. If your brushing and flossing habits are good, sometimes we can leave them alone. However, if bacteria is constantly building up around them, it is recommended we remove them as well.
So, how do I know if I need them extracted? Well, first step is to take a panoramic xray and my staff and I will go over the xray and give you our recommendations. Best tip is to get the diagnosis early, as removing teeth is less risky when you are young, and eliminate issues down the road.