Do Wisdom Teeth Always Need To Be Removed?

Do Wisdom Teeth Always Need To Be Removed?

If it seems like everyone you know has had their wisdom teeth removed, it’s because wisdom teeth are often problematic. Your wisdom teeth are technically your third set of molars, and they usually come in — or erupt, as your dentist might say — in your late teens or early to mid-20s.

Many experts believe that humans developed wisdom teeth to be able to chew rough, coarse foods. But now, in modern times, our diets are generally composed of softer, easier-to-chew foods, so wisdom teeth are less necessary.

There’s usually just not enough room for wisdom teeth

The most common issue with wisdom teeth is that there’s just not enough room for them. They may not be able to fully erupt, or erupt at all, or they may come in sideways or deformed because of the lack of space.

If your wisdom teeth can’t erupt at all, they are said to be impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause all sorts of problems, like inflammation, infection, tooth decay, or gum disease, or they might even force your other teeth out of place.

Partially erupted wisdom teeth are especially dangerous because bacteria can get down to the root of the tooth. You may develop an abscess or infection that can cause problems in your jawbone. Partially erupted wisdom teeth can also be painful, rubbing against your tongue or cheek due to being improperly positioned.

Even if your wisdom teeth fully erupt and everything seems fine, they may still eventually cause problems. Because they are so far back in your mouth, they are difficult to reach to brush and floss, making them prime candidates to trap bacteria that causes cavities.

Monitoring is critical

Before your wisdom teeth begin to come in, Dr. Casañas and Dr. Silfa will be monitoring them using X-rays and their years of experience and training to judge whether the teeth need to be removed. Sometimes, it’s obvious from X-rays that your wisdom teeth will not erupt properly.

In some cases, the dentists at Meadowbrook may recommend extracting your wisdom teeth well before you’ve had any issues at all. There could be several reasons for this. For example, it may be clear that your wisdom teeth will be impacted, and you will heal from surgery more quickly if you are younger when it’s done.

Even though the odds are stacked against you having perfectly positioned, fully erupted, easy-to-clean wisdom teeth, you may not need them removed, or at least not right away. You may be able to keep your wisdom teeth for years without any problems. But Dr. Casañas and Dr. Silfa will want to monitor them during your regular checkups.

So the answer to whether all wisdom teeth should be removed is no, but if you’re not going to have them taken out, they should be:

Even if your wisdom teeth meet all of these conditions, it’s important for you to see Dr. Casañas or Dr. Silfa regularly to make sure no problems develop.

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