When to remove the wisdom teeth

Just like the appendix and the tonsils, the wisdom teeth, or “third molars,” are no longer necessary. These teeth, which develop in the teen years or the early adult years, often do not have enough room to emerge through the gum line properly. Because of this, they often become impacted, getting stuck near the far back corners of the mouth and causing pain and discomfort. This is why many dentists, including the professionals at NW Heights Dental in Portland, Oregon, often encourage patients to have them removed.

When should my wisdom teeth be removed?

There are a few different reasons why a patient might have their wisdom teeth removed. This can impact the decision as to when to have them extracted from the smile. Patients might consider removal when:

  • The wisdom teeth have become impacted and turned and cannot erupt through the gum line
  • The wisdom teeth may interfere with orthodontic work that has already been completed
  • The wisdom teeth are increasing the likelihood of a patient developing cavities or periodontal disease

In situations where orthodontic work has been completed, the wisdom teeth might cause misalignment if they come through later one. A dentist may recommend having the wisdom teeth surgically removed before they become a problem, typically in the early teen years. Otherwise, the teeth may be removed if they are difficult to keep clean and might contribute to oral health problems, or if the patient is in pain because of impaction.

What type of removal is completed?

There are two ways to remove wisdom teeth, including surgical and simple extraction. If the wisdom tooth has already come through the gum line and is accessible to the dentist, simple extraction is completed where the tooth is wedged out from the natural bone without incisions. However, impacted teeth need to be surgically removed and this is a more invasive procedure that requires longer recovery time.

Request an evaluation with NW Heights Dental of Portland

Portland, OR area patients who are interested in learning more about wisdom tooth removal are welcome to book a consultation with Drs. Keri Smith and David Hiebert by calling (503) 646-1463.

Posted in: Wisdom Tooth Removal

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