A person’s third molars, or wisdom teeth, have always been a cause of debate and endless talks especially regarding when to get it removed. The question “when to remove wisdom teeth” has been debated for an extended period.
Some experts would not resort to pulling them out as long as they do not cause any problems at all, but there are also some who would rather opt to remove it at the soonest possible opportunity in order to prevent future problems. But when should wisdom teeth be removed? We will be answering that one question here in this article.
When To Remove Wisdom Teeth?
When to get wisdom teeth removed will always depend on your dentist and whether he considers removal is necessary. However, be assured that he will not recommend it without proper assessment and evaluation.
Usually, a dentist will recommend the removal of your third molars after a dental x-ray showing possible problems that could arise in the future.
Many reasons are there why a dentist would recommend the extraction of your third molars. Here is some pointer to when to get wisdom teeth removed:
First and foremost, the main reason why a wisdom tooth is removed is to prevent problems that may occur in the future. Though your wisdom teeth may not be painful or cause any problems right now, this doesn’t mean that there is nothing to be worried about.
Your dentist may recommend removing it early rather than wait for signs and symptoms of a problem tooth to appear because bones located in your mouth are harder to remove once you grow older.
Break Other Teeth
If there is not enough space in your jaw for the eruption of the third molars, it can push your other teeth around and will lead to biting and chewing problems that can cause a lot of pain.
A cyst may form around your wisdom tooth when the sac next to the wisdom tooth in question is filled with fluid. If this occurs, it will destroy the other structures surrounding your teeth such as bones and roots. A cystic formation may also lead to jaw damage in the long run, and if left untreated, it may require a complex surgical procedure in the end.
The gum tissue surrounding the problematic wisdom teeth may swell and cause some pain. Once chronic pain sets in, it can be a sign that infection has occurred due to partially erupted wisdom teeth.
If the wisdom teeth have partially ejected, the food and bacteria may get trapped in certain areas and will lead to an infection called pericoronitis. A swollen gum will create pockets in between teeth and becomes a home to bacterial growth which will in turn form cavities.
Teeth Alignment Problems
An impacted wisdom tooth, a condition wherein your third molar has failed to erupt due to certain circumstances, will create misalignment to your other teeth. Also, a fully erupted wisdom tooth may also create the same misalignment problem if it has fully erupted but is angled sideways towards your other teeth. If such a wisdom tooth grows and erupts, it will shift and push other teeth to break away from their natural alignment.
The problem with your wisdom teeth is not limited to your oral area alone but rather can also radiate towards your sinuses. Once you feel some issues with any of your wisdom teeth, it can lead congestion of your sinus, which can be pressured, and result in severe pain.
If you do not have regular check-ups and have not been able to undergo a wisdom tooth extraction to prevent the problems, you might experience severe pain and swelling which could also lead to your wisdom teeth extraction. This type of extraction is no longer a preventive one, but rather a treatment to get rid of the primary cause of your dental suffering.
Are Wisdom Teeth Always Removed?
As we said earlier, when to remove wisdom teeth will depend on your dentist. There is also a dentist who would rather not extract your third molars. Wisdom teeth are considered safe from removal surgery if they are:
- Fully erupted with no problems
- Correctly aligned with the other teeth
- Is congruent with the opposite tooth
- Easy to reach for oral hygiene practice
Diagnostic Tests Used For Wisdom Teeth Removal
There are various clinical and radiographic methods that are available to see and assess whether the position of wisdom teeth is strategically located or not. These methods are also used to see how close or distant the wisdom teeth are to other tooth structures.
Standard 2D (Dimensional X-ray)
This radiographic technique is used to give information about the position and shape of wisdom a tooth root and its nearby structures.
3D CT (Computed Tomography)
3D computed tomography is more precise than the standard dimensional x-ray because it involves obtaining the exact position of your wisdom teeth, and it also allows you and the dentist to see what is inside of it.
Looking Out For Nerve Damage
Aside from understanding when should wisdom teeth be removed, it is also important to understand the complications that it can lead to aside from the common side effects of surgery.
One such important complication that you should know about is nerve damage, which often occurs during the extraction of lower wisdom teeth.
Since wisdom teeth located in the lower jaw are near your neurovascular bundle and the nerves of your tongue which allows you to taste and feel, it is possible that extraction of the lower third molars may lead to nerve damage.
However, though nerve damage is possible, rest assured that there is only a small percentage of people who have suffered from such a complication. Out of that small percentage, more than half of the patients have recovered spontaneously from the after-effects of extraction.
It is important for you to be brave and face the extraction of your wisdom teeth if ever your dentist recommends it so that you can prevent future problems and pain.
Since age is also a factor, it is best to remove it while you are still young rather than wait for too long before undergoing surgery where the healing process becomes slow because of aging.