Do You Have to Get Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth removal has become a sort of “right of passage” for young adults. Who doesn’t have a story of a friend or loved one saying something nonsensical after surgery? While this may create lasting memories for those on the outside, it can be a painful process for the person undergoing the procedure.

Thankfully for some, wisdom teeth removal is only required if the teeth will cause problems as they erupt. It’s best to talk with a dentist about your own or your child’s wisdom teeth to assess the possible impact of the wisdom teeth on long-term oral health.

Why Might I Have to Get My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

We have three sets of eruptions in our lives: baby teeth eruption, adult teeth eruption, and wisdom teeth eruption. The wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that often begin to break through in a person’s late teens and early twenties. Some people even have more than one set of wisdom teeth! For many, this third and final eruption can cause a few problems.

You May Not Have Room for Another Molar

Imagine if you already had braces or aligners for crowded teeth and suddenly a new set of teeth want to break in and make a mess of things. Many people simply don’t have room for a new tooth. For people without sufficient room, a wisdom tooth eruption can cause spacing issues or damage to surrounding teeth as it elbows its way into your existing molar’s personal space.

The Tooth Refuses to Fully Erupt and Becomes Impacted

It can take a while for wisdom teeth to fully break through the gums. In some cases, it will partially erupt and then get stuck, unable to completely emerge. If the tooth is partially covered in gums, it leaves the wisdom tooth and its neighbors more vulnerable to tooth decay. It isn’t as easy to clean a tooth that’s still covered in gums, after all.

The tooth that is unable to erupt may also cause problems like cysts on the jaw bone or ankylosis (in which the tooth fuses to the bone).

Wisdom Teeth Sometimes Grow at Strange Angles

Your dentist will be able to tell with X-rays whether your wisdom teeth are likely to grow at a dangerous angle. Here are some ways problematic wisdom teeth grow in:

  • At an angle toward its neighboring tooth
  • Toward the back of the mouth
  • Perpendicular to existing teeth

If the teeth are allowed to grow at an angle to your other teeth, it can cause painful symptoms relating to root damage, abscesses, and overcrowding.

Choose Our Family Dentist in Philadelphia for Your Surgery

If your dentist decides that your wisdom teeth will cause problems with your existing teeth or put you at greater risk of tooth decay, then you may need to resign yourself to removal. Fortunately, an experienced dentist can make the process easier, less painful, and more stress-free. At Mayfair Family Dentistry, we will put your oral health at the forefront of every decision we make and the care we provide.
To make an appointment, call 215-935-4476 or fill out our contact form today.