In this two-part article series we will be discussing wisdom teeth: What are they? Why do they frequently need to be removed? What can I expect during the extraction procedure?
Not all wisdom teeth are bad, in fact when wisdom teeth are properly aligned and healthy they can be a useful asset to the mouth! However, poorly aligned wisdom teeth will almost always bring with them a handful of oral health risks. In this two-part article series, we will be looking at the ins and outs of wisdom teeth and answer questions such as: what are they? How do I know if I have them? Why do they frequently need to be removed? What can I expect during the removal procedure and what can I expect after the procedure?
Wisdom Teeth: What Are They?
Wisdom teeth are the final set of molars most people develop in their late teens or early 20’s. If they are healthy and properly aligned, good for you! However, badly aligned or orientated wisdom teeth can damage the adjacent teeth, the jawbone or nerves and lead to overcrowding of the dental arch. Wisdom teeth can also become ‘impacted’, meaning that they are trapped underneath a neighboring tooth, which makes it difficult for them to grow out. Impacted wisdom teeth can be very problematic and painful and typically require extraction.
Wisdom teeth, when partially erupted (not fully emerged from the jawbone and gums), are extremely vulnerable to decay and infection, because of their tricky position and general sensitivity makes them difficult to brush and floss. Partial eruption of the wisdom teeth can create a breach for bacteria to perforate around the tooth and cause infection, which leads to pain, swelling, inflammation and even general illness.
How Do I Know if I Have Wisdom Teeth?
Most people are born with two to four wisdom teeth. If you’re in your late teens or early twenties and have been experiencing localized pain and discomfort towards the back of your jaw, your wisdom teeth may be emerging! The only way to really know is to visit your dentist in Colorado Springs CO. An X-ray will determine the presence and alignment of your wisdom teeth and whether they need to be removed or not. This will prevent any problems that may be more complicated or painful from developing. In younger patients, the wisdom teeth roots are not yet fully developed and the bone is less dense, making removal easier. With older people, the recovery and healing time can take a little longer.
How Will My Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?
It all depends on the position and stage of development of your wisdom teeth. In fact, a wisdom tooth that is fully erupted through the gum can be extracted as easily as any other tooth! More complex cases of impacted and infected wisdom teeth may require surgery. The relative ease with which your wisdom teeth can be removed will be determined and explained to you by your oral health care provider during your dental examination.
Till We Meet Again!
Dentists in Colorado Springs help us explain the ins and outs of wisdom teeth and why they sometimes are better out than in. So, stay tuned and we’ll catch you up on additional information pertaining to wisdom teeth and the removal process. In Part 2 of this article series, we will be looking at how the procedure works and what can be expected during the subsequent healing process.