For a long period of time, it was generally accepted that wisdom teeth should not be disturbed until they emerge fully from the gum. Nowadays, that thinking has changed. Today, dentists and the public alike understand the damage unerupted or fully emerged wisdom teeth can cause, and people are advised to have them extracted as quickly as possible.
Extracting wisdom teeth can be risky business, and the risks usually increase with age. People who wait for problems such as infection, swelling, pain or other medical conditions to occur before seeking treatment are at a greater risk. People under the age of thirty-five are in the best position to have their wisdom teeth dealt with without additional concerns, after fifty however people are at risk for damage to the jaw and surrounding bone because the teeth by then have fused more securely to the bone.
Dentists and oral surgeons use modern X-ray images to properly assess the situation before any corrective treatment is initiated. Nerves, bones and problematic teeth will all be plainly seen on a standard X-ray, and the patient can be advised of any potential problems.
Is it really essential to extract wisdom teeth? They can cause sometimes excruciating pain and distress on the patient, and push against other teeth. Wisdom teeth can make other teeth shift out of ideal occlusal position, leading to changes in bite patterns and other related issues. They can cause sinus problems, irritate the gum tissue and encourage infection. They frequently cause pockets where decay can form leading to bone loss and infection, and affect the effectiveness of orthodontic and prosthodontic treatment due to tooth shifting.
To remove the wisdom teeth, particularly the teeth which have not yet emerged, specific surgical expertise may be required. A dental surgeon with proper training and instruments is imperative for the best treatment possible. IV sedation is often recommended for this procedure. It is often recommended that all the wisdom teeth be extracted during one appointment.
The after effects of wisdom tooth extraction can include some discomfort, which can usually be addressed by an over-the-counter pain reliever, light bleeding, swelling of the face and jaw area, and often temporary numbness in their lower lip and chin due to the disturbance or damage of the nerve in the lower jaw.