Do I Really Need to Have my Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Why do oral healthcare experts often seem so eager to remove those third molars (wisdom teeth) way at the back of your mouth? Our team of specialists at Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates of Nevada can answer that.

These Harvard-trained surgeons and dentists specialize in offering services that help you overcome numerous conditions affecting the head, face, jaw, neck, and oral cavity. Our group is well-known throughout the country for providing highly effective, innovative, and trustworthy dental care from offices in Summerlin and East Side Las Vegas, Nevada.

We’re happy to share information about impacted wisdom teeth and what makes them problematic.

What’s the point of wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth, also known as your third molars, are the last adult teeth to emerge. They’re located at the very back of the mouth and typically erupt through your gums between the ages of 17 and 25. 

Researchers believe that a natural dietary evolution away from the wild plants, raw meats, and tougher foods enjoyed by cavemen to a softer menu of domestically grown and tenderized proteins, vegetables, and fruits caused a noticeable shortening of the modern human jaw. 

This decreased jaw space often makes wisdom teeth more harmful than beneficial to your smile and overall oral health. Because they’re not necessary for chewing, we generally recommend removing problematic wisdom teeth.  

Complications associated with impacted wisdom teeth

Without the room to develop normally, wisdom teeth often become partially or fully trapped (impacted) under the gumline.

Impaction can cause the affected tooth to grow at an angle toward the front or back of the mouth. Sometimes wisdom teeth are entirely trapped within your jawbone and may even grow perpendicular to your other teeth.

This abnormal growth pattern may eventually cause numerous oral health issues, including:

Note that even fully impacted wisdom teeth, those not visible above the gumline, are susceptible to decay, nerve damage, and other dental issues.

Symptoms you may experience with impacted wisdom teeth include:

The pain associated with wisdom teeth may range from mild to severe and can worsen in intensity over time.

Not all impacted wisdom teeth are symptomatic. However, your dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon for evaluation and possible extraction if dental X-rays show current disease or predict future alignment problems due to abnormal growth patterns.

What is the surgery like?

Here at Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates of Nevada, your surgeon first completes a detailed evaluation and discusses his findings and recommendations with you in detail before scheduling the outpatient surgery.

We generally use local anesthesia to numb your mouth and prevent discomfort during wisdom tooth extraction. At your request, we can also provide a sedative to help keep you relaxed throughout the procedure.

During the procedure, which usually takes less than an hour, your surgeon makes small incisions in the gum, removes the targeted teeth, and then closes the incision sites with small sutures.

You can expect to experience some bleeding, slight swelling, and mild discomfort after the anesthesia wears off. Most of our patients return to normal activity within a couple of days.

Your surgeon also provides detailed aftercare instructions before sending you home to rest and may prescribe a short course of pain medication to relieve your discomfort during the early healing phase.

For outstanding care that may include surgical removal of impacted wisdom teeth, schedule a visit with our experts at Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates of Nevada today. 

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