Wisdom teeth are third molars that typically erupt during an individual’s late teens or early twenties. Why do we remove them? Can you ever expect to keep them? Can you have just one wisdom tooth removed? Dr. Gio Iuculano, DDS explains what you should know.
Dr. Gio, why do we remove wisdom teeth? Do they ever come in straight?
Wisdom teeth sometimes do come in straight, but we may recommend removing them for any of these reasons:
- There is not enough room in the jawbone
- The wisdom teeth come in crooked
- Cavities exist around the wisdom teeth
- The patient develops an infection
- The patient has gum disease
When any of these conditions exists, we may recommend removing the wisdom teeth. More frequently, we see patients with less room for their wisdom teeth. Younger generations are growing smaller jaws, so more removals are necessary.
If my wisdom teeth come in straight, can I expect to keep them? Is keeping them recommended?
Yes! If you can maintain them healthily, we recommend keeping them. Research has shown that in the event of accidental head trauma, the presence of healthy wisdom teeth in your mouth helps prevent concussions by dispersing your bite force.
If I have an issue with some but not all my wisdom teeth, do I have the option to remove only the problem teeth? Can I have just one wisdom tooth removed?
Yes. However, removing an upper tooth without removing the opposing lower tooth causes the remaining tooth to drift up, and vice-versa. This drifting eventually causes gum problems. Opposing teeth keep each other in place; unopposed teeth will move into an unfavorable position.
We can remove wisdom teeth from just one side of the mouth, but we usually recommend removing all four at once because any issue that occurs on one side may later occur on the other. There isn’t a “right time” to remove wisdom teeth, but if you’re experiencing pain due to a dental emergency, it’s a bad time. Once and done, before an urgent situation arises, is the easiest way.
Can I have my wisdom teeth removed at Winchester Dental?
In many cases, we can remove your wisdom teeth in the comfort of our office. Our dentists are confident and skilled, and we can perform an extraction of wisdom teeth if we determine that you do not require general anesthesia. In other cases, we will refer you to an oral surgeon.