For wisdom about your wisdom teeth from Hallock Family Dental, read on.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Aging presents many challenges, including the phenomenon of growing more teeth: your wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that start forming in your teens through your early twenties. They appear in the four back corners of the mouth, two above and two below. However, not everyone has a full set of wisdom teeth. In fact, up to 37% of Americans have one or more missing third molars. Third molars are your strongest and largest teeth that once played a big role in grinding the foods humans ate a very long time ago. Today, these teeth do not play the same role as humans eat much softer foods that do not require the same grinding.
Issues With Your Wisdom Teeth
Unfortunately, most people need to have their wisdom teeth extracted. When wisdom teeth become misaligned or only partially erupt, they can potentially cause many severe oral consequences.
- Improperly aligned wisdom teeth can crowd and even damage neighboring teeth, oral nerves, and the jawbone.
- Partially erupted wisdom teeth also allow bacteria to crawl under the gum line, where infections can develop, leading to swelling, jaw stiffness, and pain. Teeth that are only partially erupted are more prone to cavities and gum disease because their hard-to-reach and difficult-to-locate locations make them harder to clean with brushing and flossing.
Although wisdom teeth have a reputation for causing problems, if they are healthy and aligned properly, there is no need to remove them.
How Do I Know If My Wisdom Teeth Are A Problem?
Dentists need to take regular x-rays to assess your wisdom teeth’s evolution. While your teeth may appear to be forming normally, there’s a lot going on below the gum line that you can’t see, which could tell an entirely different story.
Not everyone experiences pain and discomfort when their wisdom teeth are impacted. With routine exams, our dentists can recommend when your wisdom teeth need to be removed before problems arise. While it may seem counterintuitive to have these teeth extracted before absolutely necessary, patients can avoid more painful or complicated extractions later. Wisdom tooth extraction is much easier in younger patients when the wisdom teeth are not fully developed and the bone density is low.
How Are Third Molars Removed?
How a patient’s wisdom teeth are removed depends on the exact position of the teeth and their stage of development. Fully erupted wisdom teeth can be removed like other teeth. However, wisdom teeth that are hidden under the gum tissue and embedded in the jawbone require a more surgical approach.
An incision is made in the gum and the part of the bone over the tooth is removed. In most cases, the surgeon performing the removal will separate the tooth and remove smaller sections rather than a large piece. Wisdom tooth removal is a safe outpatient procedure that only takes about an hour. Patients will be given medication after surgery to manage any discomfort they may have.
If you are ready for professional input on your wisdom teeth in Texas, consider Hallock Family Dental. For over 10 years, Hallock Family Dental has been providing dental implants, CEREC same-day crowns, SureSmile aligners, and a variety of dental treatments to families in Allen, McKinney, and surrounding communities. Our team specializes in giving patients of all ages the type of advanced dental care they need to look and feel their best. To request a consultation, 972-390-7200 for our Allen location, or reach our McKinney location at 972-547-1775.