Third molars (or wisdom teeth) are the last teeth to erupt. And in some cases, they don’t come in at all. For individuals that don’t suffer from overcrowding, a malocclusion, or any complications due to third molars, wisdom teeth extraction may never be required. But for many, one or more of those third molars is going to present a problem during your lifetime. A consultation with the oral surgeon is usually recommended by your family dentist if complications due to impacted third molars is evident.
We generally get four wisdom teeth. They are the furthest back teeth on the right and left sides in both the upper and lower arches. Not to be confused with first and second molars, our third molars are generally not needed and their absence will not impact your appearance. Wisdom teeth that erupt normally, but result in overcrowding or infection, may be extracted without surgery.
What are the consequences of leaving wisdom teeth alone? If you are one of the lucky ones, you may never have any problems. However, impacted wisdom teeth can lead to infection. And since they usually don’t erupt until your late teens, you might have perfectly symmetrical teeth, but these last teeth are going to try to push others aside to try to come in leading to overcrowding or crooked dentition.
Or worse, the wisdom teeth could come in sideways which can be painful or result in infection. Or they may actually damage needed molars already in place. Very often the extraction of wisdom teeth is done more for preventive or precautionary care than as a reaction to an existing problem. Especially in the case where teeth straightening is required or it has already been completed.
Keeping or extracting wisdom teeth is usually recommended on a case by case basis. But some dentists believe that extracting wisdom teeth will save the patient problems into the future; however,many believe that leaving third molars in place until a problem occurs is in the best interest of the patient.
The decision of whether or not to extract perfectly healthy teeth is always a difficult one. Your trusted dentist in consult with your oral surgeon have your best interest at heart; following their advice coupled with your own research should put your mind at ease regarding the extraction of one or more third molars.
So call your trusted team today at Jackson Oral Surgery!