Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the teeth farthest back in your jaw. Some people are born without third molars. For the rest of us, these wisdom teeth may cause problems requiring their removal.
The experienced and caring dentists at Aspenwood Dental Associates and Colorado Dental Implant Center monitor the health of your entire mouth, including wisdom teeth. To schedule an appointment in the greater Denver area, please call 303-751-3321.
Why Wisdom Teeth Often Need to be Extracted
Many people with wisdom teeth will ultimately experience issues related to them:
Not enough room for the wisdom teeth. These teeth may need to be extracted if there is not enough room in the jaw and mouth for them to grow. The jaw is oftentimes too small to accommodate these extra molars. When there is not enough room, they may stay hidden beneath the jawbone or beneath the gums. They may erupt only partially, with a tip or side of the tooth visible above the gums.
They can't grow straight. If wisdom teeth cannot erupt properly, there may be no chance of getting them properly aligned. They may be difficult to clean and may not be adding anything to your ability to chew or to enjoy a well-aligned bite.
They are partially emerged. When wisdom teeth partially emerge through the gums, they are difficult to clean. The angle of the teeth may create difficult-to-floss gum pockets or the gum tissue may lay like a flap over part of the tooth. This gum tissue can become a perfect spot for bacteria to dwell, which frequently leads to decay, abscessed teeth and gum infection.
Surrounding teeth are being crowded or damaged. When there is not enough room for the wisdom teeth, they can potentially damage the teeth next to them as they encroach on them.
A cyst or abscess may form beneath a wisdom tooth. Impacted wisdom teeth – those that remain stuck beneath the gums – may develop cysts. Tooth roots and surrounding bone can be damaged if the problem is not treated.
The skilled dentists at Aspenwood Dental Associates and Colorado Dental Implant Center are committed to your complete oral health. As our patient, your wisdom teeth will be monitored during your regular dental visits. As they emerge, we will assess their position and inform you of your options for maintaining great oral health.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
You and our dentists may decide that removing the wisdom teeth is the best way to address any pain, discomfort, bite misalignment or inability to clean the third molars. Teens and young adults may have these teeth removed, as the teeth can be easier to remove and the recovery can be tolerated quite well at this age. Many adults undergo the procedure as well, particularly if they begin to experience any issues related to their wisdom teeth.
The extraction procedure involves removing one or more of the third molars. Some people choose to have all four removed at once, even if they are currently experiencing problems with only one of the teeth. Doing so means avoiding the need for any repeat wisdom tooth extractions in the future.
Does Everyone Have Wisdom Teeth?
Not everyone has wisdom teeth. In fact, many people never develop them at all. Wisdom teeth typically appear in early adulthood, around ages 17 to 25. But even then, they may not be fully erupted or functional. In some cases, wisdom teeth are removed before they ever cause any problems. To find out if you have wisdom teeth, the providers at Aspenwood Dental Associates and Colorado Dental Implant Center may take a series of x-rays to view the bone of the jaw and any unerupted teeth to get a better idea of when these molars may arrive--or if they are even present!
Is It Beneficial To Remove Wisdom Teeth?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as the benefits or risks of wisdom tooth removal depend on each individual case. Sometimes, wisdom teeth erupt without causing any problems and can be left in place. Other times, they may crowd existing teeth or become impacted (stuck beneath the gum tissue), leading to pain, infection, or other dental issues. Our dentists carefully examine your mouth and review your x-rays to determine whether extraction is the best course of action for you.
What Are the Risks of Leaving Wisdom Teeth In?
Leaving wisdom teeth in place when they are not causing any problems does not typically pose any significant risks. However, if they become impacted or overcrowded, they may lead to a number of dental issues, including:
- Cysts or tumors
- Damage to adjacent teeth
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
If you are experiencing pain or any other problems with your wisdom teeth, please contact our office to schedule an appointment. Our experienced dentists at Aspenwood Dental Associates and Colorado Dental Implant Center will be happy to evaluate your specific situation and recommend the best course of treatment for you.
How Do You Know if Your Wisdom Teeth Are Impacted?
If your wisdom teeth are impacted in the mouth, you may not experience any symptoms at first. However, as they continue to grow in, you may start to experience pain, swelling, and/or other problems. If you suspect your wisdom teeth are actually stuck or impacted, or are causing any issues, please contact our office right away. We are happy to evaluate your situation and needs to recommend the best course of action.
How Do I Prepare for My Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Your dentist at Aspenwood Dental Associates and Colorado Dental Implant Center will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for your wisdom teeth removal, which may include:
- Avoiding eating or drinking anything after midnight the night before your surgical procedure.
- Arranging for another individual to drive you home after your surgery.
- Stocking up on soft foods and drinks to have after your surgery.
What Should I Eat After I Get My Wisdom Teeth Out?
After your wisdom teeth are removed, it is important to eat soft, easily digestible foods that will not irritate your gums or cause excessive bleeding. Some good options include:
- Gelatin or pudding
- Ice cream or sherbet
Your dental team may also have some other recommendations to consider when preparing for your procedure and the foods you will be able to eat following it.
Find Out If You Are a Candidate
As our dental patient, your wisdom teeth and entire mouth are monitored. We want you to enjoy tip-top dental wellness. To arrange your appointment with our experienced dentists in Aurora, Colorado, please call Aspenwood Dental Associates and Colorado Dental Implant Center at 303-751-3321.