Third molars, also known as wisdom teeth, are usually the last four of 32 teeth to erupt (surface) in the mouth. In most cases, inadequate space in the mouth does not allow the wisdom teeth to erupt properly and become fully functional. When this happens, the tooth can become impacted (stuck) in an undesirable or potentially harmful position. If left untreated, impacted wisdom teeth can contribute to bacterial infection, damage to other teeth, and possibly cysts or tumors.
If you or your child need their wisdom teeth extracted, call or email Dental Care Center, LLC, today!
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Types of Wisdom Teeth Impactions
There are several types, or degrees, of impaction based on the actual depth of the teeth within the jaw:
Soft Tissue Impaction: The upper portion of the tooth (the crown) has penetrated through the bone, but the gum is covering part or all of the tooth’s crown. Because it is difficult to keep the area clean, food can become trapped below the gum.
Partial Bony Impaction: The tooth has partially erupted, but a portion of the crown remains submerged below the gum and surrounding jawbone. Again, it is difficult to keep the area clean.
Complete Bony Impaction: The tooth is completely encased by jawbone. This will require more complex removal techniques from an oral surgery specialist.
Reasons to remove wisdom teeth
Wisdom teeth extractions are most often performed because of an active problem such as pain, swelling, decay or infection. They can also be done as a preventative measure to avoid serious health problems in the future. If impaction of one or more wisdom teeth is present and left untreated, a number of potentially harmful outcomes can occur, including:
Damage to nearby teeth: the molars directly in front of the wisdom teeth can be adversely affected by impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in tooth decay (cavities), periodontal disease (gum disease), and possible bone loss.
Disease: Although uncommon, cysts and tumors can occur in the areas surrounding impacted wisdom teeth.
Infection: Bacteria and food can become trapped under the gum tissue, resulting in an infection. The infection can cause considerable pain and dangerous effects on your overall health.
Wisdom teeth examination
As with any dental procedure, your dentist will want to initially conduct a thorough examination of the wisdom teeth and the surrounding area. Panoramic or digital x-rays will be taken in order for your dentist to evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and determine if either a current problem or a strong likelihood of any potential future problems exist. The x-rays can also expose additional risk factors, such as deterioration or decay of nearby teeth.
Early evaluation and treatment (typically in the mid-teen years) are recommended in order to identify potential problems and to improve the results for patients requiring wisdom teeth extractions. Only after a thorough examination can your dentist provide you with the best options for your particular case.
What does the removal of wisdom teeth involve?
Wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure, generally performed under local anesthesia, intravenous (IV) sedation, or general anesthesia by a specially trained dentist in an office surgery suite. The surgery does not require an overnight stay, and you will be released with post-operative instructions and medication (if necessary) to help manage any swelling or discomfort.
If you need a wisdom tooth extracted, Dental Care Center, LLC is the dental practice for you. Call us today to schedule your examination and see if extraction is necessary.