Has your dentist recently suggested that you have your wisdom teeth removed? If you can’t even see or feel these teeth yet, you may be wondering if it’s really necessary to have them removed. However, your dentist will typically only recommend this common type of tooth extraction if it will save you an extensive amount of time, money, and discomfort in the long run. Here’s what you need to know about your developing third molars and why wisdom teeth removal in Tulsa is a smart choice when recommended by your dentist.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are known as third molars because they are the third and final set of molars a person gets. Researchers believe that these teeth were originally needed to help grind up tough, high-fiber foods in the diets of early humans. Over time however, both the human diet and the teeth needed to consume it have evolved, and we no longer need these teeth, or have room in our jaw for them. As such, a majority of people will need to have these vestigial teeth removed to prevent issues in their mouth.
When Is Wisdom Tooth Removal Needed?
No, wisdom teeth don’t make you any smarter. This nickname comes from the fact that they develop so much later in life than the rest of your permanent teeth. Usually, people will begin to get their wisdom teeth in their late teens or early twenties. If the wisdom teeth come in healthy, fully erupted from the gum line, and are positioned correctly, they may not need to be removed.
However, since the typical human jaw doesn’t have enough space for them, they’ll usually need to be removed if it looks like they may:
- Become impacted or trapped inside the jaw below the gumline.
- Emerge only partially through the gums.
- Come in horizontally or at a severe angle.
What Can Happen If I Don’t Get My Wisdom Teeth Taken Out If I Should?
It’s generally not wise to take a “wait and see” approach to removing your wisdom teeth. Delaying a recommended wisdom teeth extraction can lead to a variety of serious complications, including:
- Crowded teeth and damaged teeth roots.
- Destructive cysts that damage the jaw and nerves.
- Pockets and spaces that accumulate dangerous bacteria.
- An increased risk of oral infections and gum disease.
- Intense pain or constant ache in the mouth.
- Misaligned teeth and bite issues.
- A more difficult extraction later on.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction: A Smart Decision
Thankfully, your dentist can monitor the development of your wisdom teeth and detect early warning signs of future problems with routine X-rays. Modern advancements in oral surgery have made tooth extractions faster and more precise than ever. What’s more, with the help of modern sedation dentistry options, you’ll feel as comfortable and at-ease as possible throughout your entire treatment. Removing your wisdom teeth when recommended by your dentist is a smart decision for the long-term wellbeing of your smile!