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Wisdom Teeth

Why do Wisdom Teeth Need Removed?

The reason why any one person has their wisdom teeth removed varies on the condition of each person’s wisdom teeth.  Wisdom teeth that are impacted can cause dental problems.  It is best to evaluate each individual case in determining if wisdom teeth need to be removed.

If your wisdom teeth are impacted, meaning they are growing in a misaligned way, then they may cause gum problems.  It is recommended that these teeth be removed.  Impacted wisdom teeth may only partially erupt, meaning they only partially push through the gum line.  They may crowd other teeth causing swelling and other problems.  This may lead to infections, cysts or tumors in the gum tissue or jawline.  Incompletely erupted teeth can collect food in pockets which will lead to bacteria and infection develop.

Impacted teeth can damage neighboring teeth.  The deep pockets that are created by incompletely erupted teeth collect food particles and become nests of bacteria and plaque to grow.  These pockets can cause cavities in the roots of neighboring teeth.  If this occurs then both the neighboring tooth and the wisdom tooth will need to be extracted.

If your wisdom teeth are poorly positioned this affects chewing and jaw movement.  If you wisdom teeth are incompletely erupted and the teeth are higher than other, neighboring teeth it may be difficult to bite down entirely.  You may need to move your jaw in an unnatural way making chewing difficult.

Oftentimes wisdom teeth are growing in the direction of the last molar.  This could cause your entire line of teeth to push forward mis-aligning your entire bite.  The wisdom teeth may also be growing in the direction of the neighboring tooth’s root which could case severe damage to that tooth making it so that both teeth need to be pulled.

Conversely, it is not recommended that wisdom teeth are pulled if they are fully erupted and positioned correctly, not overly crowding neighboring teeth, fully healthy and functioning properly.

What is the process of extracting wisdom teeth?

You will be x-rayed and examined to get an exact analysis of what how the wisdom teeth are growing.  You will be consulted with so you know the options you have regarding anesthesia and sedation.   The day you will have your teeth removed you will be anesthetized and the gum tissue will be surgically opened, the tooth removed, then the gum tissue is sutured back together.  The sutures will be removed during a follow-up appointment and your post-surgery assessment is made to see how everything has progressed.  The entire surgical process should take no more than an hour.

Post-surgical wisdom tooth extraction you will be given gauze that must be kept in the area to help stop bleeding.  You may use ice packs to reduce swelling and discomfort.  You will want to rest and refrain from strenuous workouts and other activities for a few days.  You will also want to avoid smoking drinking carbonated beverages, eating chips or nuts, or touching the area.  Eat soft foods for the next 2 -3 days.

Smile with confidence

Invisalign makes it easier than ever! Unlike conventional, unsightly metal braces that can injure your mouth, trap food, and harbor germs, Invisalign uses a series of clear plastic aligners to gently shift your teeth into the smile you’ve always wanted. Plus, caring for your teeth while they’re being straightened is simple and convenient—just remove the aligners for regular brushing and flossing, and replace them when you’re done.

 

*Dr. Durling is recognized as an Invisalign provider by Align Technology. **Cosmetic dentistry, implantology, implant dentistry, and TMJ therapy are specialty areas not recognized by the ADA and require no specific educational training to advertise this service. ***Dr Durling, Dr Crawford, and Dr Dexter are not specialists in orthodontics. ****Conscious sedation is taught as part of the post graduate residency program approved by the ADA. Dr Durling and Dr Crawford are certified in the State of Missouri for oral conscious sedation.