Category Archives: Extractions
Wisdom teeth are third molars. Normally people have three permanent molars that develop in each quadrant of the mouth; upper, lower, right and left. The first molars usually grow into the mouth at around six years of age. The second molars grow in at around age 12. The third molars usually will try to grow in at around age 18 to 20 years. Since that is considered to be the age when people become wiser, third molars gained the nickname, “wisdom teeth.” Actually, they are no different than any other tooth except that they are the last teeth to erupt, or grow into the mouth. They are just as useful as any other teeth if they grow in properly, have a proper bite relationship, and have healthy gum tissue around them. Unfortunately, this does not always happen.
What is an impaction?
When wisdom teeth are prevented from erupting into the mouth properly, they are referred to as impacted. Teeth that have not erupted are not necessarily impacted. It may be that it is still too early in someone’s dental development, and if time passes they might grow in properly. A dentist must examine a patient’s mouth and his or her x-rays to determine if the teeth are impacted or will not grow in properly. Impacted teeth may cause problems. Impacted teeth can result in infection, decay of adjacent teeth, gum disease or formation of a cyst or tumor from the follicle, which is the tissue which formed the crown of the tooth. Many dentists recommend removal of impacted wisdom teeth to prevent potential problems.
Erupted wisdom teeth
Erupted wisdom teeth may also need to be removed. The dentist may recommend this if the tooth is non0functional, interfering with the bite, badly decayed, involved with or at risk for periodontal disease, or interfering with restoration of an adjacent tooth. Once again, every case is different and only your dentist can determine if there is a reason for you to have a tooth removed.
When should wisdom teeth be removed?
The following symptoms may indicate that the wisdom teeth have erupted and surfaced, and should be removed before they become impacted– meaning, the teeth have surfaced and have no room in the mouth to grow. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
- infection in the mouth
- facial swelling
- swelling of the gumline in the back of the mouth
Many oral health specialists will recommend removal of the wisdom teeth, as early removal will help to eliminate problems, such as an impacted tooth that destroys the second molar. Third molar impaction is the most prevalent medical developmental disorder.
What problems are often associated with impacted third molars?
- bacteria and plaque build up
- cysts development (a fluid filled sac)
- tumor development
- jaw and gum disease
What is involved in the extraction procedure?
Wisdom tooth extraction involves accessing the tooth through the soft and hard tissue, gently detaching the connective tissue between the tooth and bone and removing the tooth.
Oral and facial injuries are the #1 sports trauma.
Knocked out teeth due to sports injuries often means many trips to dental specialists and thousands of dollars in tooth replacement or repair.
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Because the removal of third molars (wisdom teeth) in adults sometimes results in complications such as infections or “dry sockets,” some experts suggest third molars should be removed when patients are between the ages of 16 and 20.
By the time we reach age 16, our jaws are fully formed– the crowns (or tops) of the third molars are also formed, but the roots are not completely developed. This is the best time to remove the third molars if x-rays show that there is not enough room in the jaw for the teeth to erupt. Obviously, if the x-rays show there is no sign of potential problems, third molars are allowed to develop and erupt.
Some orthodontists believe third molars are responsible for crowding front teeth out of alignment, causing an incorrect bite or crooked teeth. Impacted third molars also crowd adjacent teeth out of alignment and sometimes damage adjacent teeth.