Most people believe that wisdom teeth absolutely have to be removed. However, this is a fallacy. The truth is that there is nothing inherently bad about third molars (wisdom teeth). They can be a valuable part of a person’s dentition just like any other teeth.
Another question that many patients have is that do all impacted wisdom teeth need to be removed. The answer may be surprising to you… All impacted wisdom teeth do not need to be removed. If the impacted wisdom tooth is causing problems, then it will probably have to be removed, but not otherwise.
An impacted wisdom tooth takes place when your wisdom teeth grow at an awkward angle, or if there is not enough room for them. In this article, we’ll talk about when to remove an impacted wisdom tooth. If the impacted wisdom tooth is asymptomatic, then it does not necessarily need to be removed.
Also, when a tooth is evaluated, it is important to keep the normal tooth eruption (development) process in mind. A typical time frame for third molars to come in is between the ages of 16 and 25 years. For some people in this age group, it is debatable whether the term “impacted” can be applied to their teeth during this time. The teeth may still be in the process of erupting and may not have reached their final position yet.
Sometimes, impacted wisdom teeth do not cause any symptoms, and the only way your dentist can know that it is impacted is through dental x-rays. However, in other instances, impacted wisdom teeth can cause the following symptoms:
- Swelling, particularly around the gums or around the jaw
- Jaw pain
- Bleeding gums (this is also a symptom of periodontal disease)
- Bad breath
- Difficulty opening your mouth
- An unpleasant taste in your mouth
If your impacted wisdom teeth are symptomatic with these symptoms, you probably need to have them removed. There are six different ways that your wisdom teeth can be impacted. These are:
- Mesial impaction: This is the most common type of impaction. In this, the tooth is angled too far toward the front of the mouth.
- Vertical impaction: In this case, the teeth come in fairly straight, but there is not enough room in the mouth to accommodate them.
- Horizontal impaction: This impaction is caused by teeth that are horizontally impacted, that are lying on their side.
- Distal impaction: Distally impacted teeth are tilted toward the back of the mouth.
- Soft tissue impaction: This occurs when the tooth has erupted through the gum.
- Bony impaction: This takes place when the tooth is still within the bone, but has emerged through the gum.
There are many issues that can be caused by problematic impacted wisdom teeth. Some of them include damage to other teeth, pain, gum infections, extensive tooth decay, and cysts. If your wisdom teeth are impacted and are symptomatic then you most probably need to get them removed. If your impacted wisdom teeth are asymptomatic and are not causing any problems, especially to other teeth, then you most probably do not need to get them removed.
At the Harbour Pointe Oral Surgery & Advanced Dental Implant Center, we specialize in the removal of problematic impacted wisdom teeth. With oral examinations and dental x-rays, Harbour Pointe dentists can evaluate the position of your wisdom teeth and can predict if there are present or may be future problems.
In cases where your impacted wisdom teeth need to be removed, Harbour Pointe dentists will discuss the entire process with you before the actual procedure. Each patient is treated individually and holistically, and the procedure is completed with minimal discomfort to the patient.
So, don’t wait any longer…If you have wisdom teeth that are causing problems, consult the experienced team at Harbour Pointe Oral Surgery for a free evaluation of your wisdom teeth.