The molars are the wide, flat teeth set in the back of the jaw that are designed for crushing and chewing food. People typically have three sets of molars. The first set emerges in childhood, closely followed by the second set in adolescents. Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that emerge, usually during your late teens to early twenties.
For some people, the wisdom teeth emerge through the gums normally, which gives them enough room to grow in naturally. For others, though, wisdom teeth often cause problems as they try to protrude through the gum line rather than coming in straight. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but the most common are simple overcrowding of the mouth or poor pre-eruption positioning.
As they grow in, your dentist will watch for warning signs that your wisdom teeth may become impacted, including
- Strange or imperfect positioning when seen on x-rays
- Partial eruption that leaves part of the tooth under the gums
- The formation of cysts around the wisdom teeth
If they notice any of these signs, they will usually call for the wisdom teeth to be removed since impacted wisdom teeth can cause structural damage to the jaw and other teeth. Their unusual position or the improper breaking of the gums can create a hard-to-brush breeding ground for bacteria to gather.
The process for removing impacted wisdom teeth varies depending on the severity of the tooth’s displacement. For teeth that are only slightly misaligned, the extraction can happen under local anesthesia at your dentist’s office. More severe impactions may require oral surgery, for which you would likely be placed under general anesthesia for your comfort.
The best treatment in this and many cases is preventative care. Routine x-rays during a dental exam can reveal if you will need to have your wisdom teeth removed later on, which can help you and your dentist plan ahead with your dental healthcare and prevent more painful and serious complications down the line.
The team at Pearly Smile Dental Studio is happy to help you with all of your wisdom teeth needs. We offer routine dental exams to monitor their growth and emergence and pride ourselves on transparent, communicative care so that you can have a care plan in place.
With thorough screenings, regular dental cleaning visits, and onsite oral surgery options, you can rest assured that your care will be as convenient, effective, and safe as possible. Schedule your appointment today to stay on top of the care of your wisdom teeth.