The third set of molars, which usually arrive in the late teens or early twenties, are commonly referred to as the wisdom teeth. Quite often, these teeth need to be removed. But how do you determine if your teeth must go?

Deciding on Extraction

Even though the majority of people have one or more of their wisdom teeth removed, your might not have to have yours extracted. This procedure is recommended based upon individual need, so if you are not experiencing any problems, there might be no need to have any treatment.

Some signs that a wisdom tooth might be causing problems include:

•    Extreme discomfort in the jaw or teeth
•    Impacted teeth
•    Teeth are consistently uncomfortable

If the tooth has become impacted, there is simply not enough room for it in the mouth. The tooth might not even be able to emerge, much less take up its proper position with your other teeth. If a wisdom tooth does emerge successfully, it still might not have sufficient room, causing your other teeth to become crowded. While it is pushing its way through the gums, it can cause other teeth to move, leading to overall discomfort.

If left untreated, impaction can lead to infection, which is more serious, more uncomfortable, and more difficult to treat. It is much better to have a tooth removed before it has become infected.

Having Surgery for Tooth Extractions

Removing wisdom teeth often requires oral surgery, especially if each tooth has not yet emerged. As with any surgery, oral surgery presents some risks and possible side effects. You are a much better candidate for oral surgery if:

•    You are in good health overall
•    You have a good idea of what to expect from the procedure
•    You are a non-smoker

Healing after dental surgery is relatively straightforward provided you follow your oral surgeon’s instructions for aftercare and recovery.

If you have questions or concerns about your wisdom teeth and would like an evaluation, contact our Grapevine office today at 817-552-3223 to schedule a consultation.