Do I Need My Wisdom Teeth Out?

With age comes wisdom…and wisdom teeth.

One of the most common questions we are asked is “Do I need to have my wisdom teeth out?” Usually the answer isn’t as straight forward as you might think. When going to the oral surgeon he/she will evaluate your teeth and then discuss the risks of removing the wisdom teeth and compare those to the risks of not removing your wisdom teeth.

While everyone is different, here are some common risks that we see in retaining wisdom teeth:

1)Wisdom teeth that aren’t in the right position can allow food to become trapped. That gives cavity-causing bacteria a place to grow, which can effect your wisdom teeth and the adjacent teeth.

2)Wisdom teeth that haven’t come in properly, which can make it difficult to floss between the wisdom teeth and the molars next to them.

3)Wisdom teeth that have partially come through can give bacteria a place to enter the gums and create a place for infection to occur. This may also lead to pain, swelling and stiffness in your jaw.

4)Wisdom teeth that don’t have room to come through are thought by some to crowd or damage neighboring teeth.

5)A wisdom tooth that is impacted can form a cyst on or near the impacted tooth. This could damage the roots of nearby teeth or destroy the bone that supports your teeth.

When you visit us and Neal, Leonard, Sorensen Implant, Facial, and Oral Surgery, we will evaluate your wisdom teeth and then discuss these risks and compare them to the risk of surgery. In most patients, the risk of surgery is usually very low.

The important thing to remember is to be evaluated by your surgeon before your wisdom teeth become a problem. Your surgeon will help guide you make the choice which is best for you,