Wisdom teeth are the last set of molars to arrive. In many cases, there is not enough room in the jaw for them, and they become impacted. If this happens, it’s best to have them removed. However, it’s not always necessary to have all these last molars removed, nor is it necessary to have them all taken out at the same time. Each tooth should be individually evaluated.
Why are Wisdom Teeth Usually Removed?
Most people begin to see their last set of molars arrive in their late teens or early twenties. These teeth are called the wisdom teeth. At one time, humans might have had sufficient room in the jaw to accommodate this last set of molars. However, most people today simply don’t have enough space for them. As a result, wisdom teeth often become impacted or cause alignment issues with the rest of the teeth. When this occurs, they are usually removed.
It’s not always necessary to have all these last molars removed, nor is it necessary to have them all taken out at the same time. Each tooth should be individually evaluated.
In some cases, wisdom teeth can be left in place. For example, if other molars were removed or never arrived, this last set of molars might have enough space to sit comfortably in the mouth. If there are no signs of impaction and no problems developing elsewhere with the bite, they can be left alone.
How to Tell if the Wisdom Teeth Should be Removed
If you begin to experience discomfort in the gums where the wisdom teeth should be emerging, or if they have partially emerged and are uncomfortable, you should consult with your dentist about having them removed. If the teeth are impacted, this means they are unable to emerge completely. If left alone, they will probably become infected and lead to serious problems. If they have partially emerged and become infected, similarly serious issues could develop. If you have any doubt about whether your wisdom teeth should be removed, you should discuss the problems with your dentist.
Extraction can be relatively simple or more complicated depending upon how much of the tooth has emerged. If the tooth has yet to break through the gums, you will require oral surgery. If the tooth has emerged, our dentists at Newton Dental Group can perform a simple extraction under local anesthetic.