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California area dentist describes situations which may warrant the removal of wisdom teeth

A wisdom tooth is regularly extracted through simple or surgical removal. Most patients have between four and eight wisdom teeth. These teeth, more correctly called the third molars, are known for being problematic. The reason is because they are the last teeth to erupt. Many patients do not have the room for any additional teeth in their early adulthood, which causes these teeth to become impacted or, in some cases, erupt through the gum line and contribute to cavities and disease. For these reasons, the team at the Center for Implant Dentistry may suggest the removal of wisdom teeth.

The wisdom teeth develop in the very back of the mouth. The two instances where removal may be necessary include:

Impaction

Many patients who experience pain and discomfort visit their dentist and find out their wisdom teeth are impacted. This means that they are stuck underneath the gum line and unable to break through. Sometimes this happens because they are turned and are pushing against the teeth next to them. Impaction requires surgical removal that is done with anesthetics and sedation. There is more healing time with surgical removal than simple removal.

Contribution to Poor Oral Health

Because the wisdom teeth are so far back in the mouth, they may be difficult for patients to properly floss and brush. This causes them to be at risk of periodontal disease or dental caries, which can negatively impact the entire smile. Simple extraction is needed in this instance. This is done relatively quickly in the dental office with local anesthetics.

Concerns Regarding Malocclusion

There may be other instances when a dentist may suggest proactive removal of the wisdom teeth, including when patients have had orthodontic work. If the bite and dental arch have been aligned with orthodontia, the wisdom teeth may disrupt this alignment and cause a problem. By removing the wisdom teeth before they become an issue, the patient is able to avoid further concerns regarding alignment.

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