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Do You Really Need to Remove Your Wisdom Teeth?


If you’ve never had a tooth extracted before, then you’re probably nervous about the idea of having your wisdom teeth removed.

Dentists often recommend extracting third molars to save the rest of the teeth in a smile. So wisdom tooth extraction is a good thing. But it’s actually not necessary for everyone.

Read on to find out why you may or may not need to remove your wisdom teeth.

Why Extract Wisdom Teeth?

Impaction is one of the most common reasons for removing wisdom teeth. This happens when the teeth grow in at an unsafe angle. The teeth don’t properly erupt out of the gum tissue and can create cysts or tumors or even press on the roots of neighboring teeth and cause them to resorb.

Even if wisdom teeth do erupt through the gums, they aren’t out of the woods just yet. If they haven’t come in straight, then they’ll be at higher risk for decay and gum disease. Those third molars are hard enough to reach with a toothbrush and floss, as it is. If they’re tipped out of alignment or partially covered by gums, then they can cause a lot of trouble down the road.

Some people don’t have enough room in their jaws to accommodate four extra teeth.

When that third set of molars comes in, it can crowd the rest of the teeth and put them at risk for oral health problems.

Many dentists along with their patients feel that proactively extracting wisdom teeth before they cause trouble is the best option. In fact, it’s often easier to remove those molars during the teenage years before the roots can finish developing. Removing wisdom teeth can head off a host of inconvenient and painful dental complications.

Signs You Might Need to Extract Your Wisdom Teeth

It could be time to think about parting ways with your third molars if you begin to notice any of the following signs:

  • Pain in the gums around or over your wisdom teeth

  • Toothache in the teeth in front of where your wisdom teeth should be

  • Crowding or other alignment changes in the rest of your teeth

  • Swollen tender gums (gingivitis) around your back teeth

  • Constantly getting food stuck in the gums around your wisdom teeth

  • Sinus problems (upper wisdom tooth roots sometimes grow high above the bone)

See a dentist as soon as possible to find out whether wisdom tooth problems are causing these symptoms.

Wisdom Teeth Extraction - Easier Than You Think!

Granted, no tooth extraction is pleasant. You might even need a lot of recovery time if you have multiple wisdom teeth removed in one procedure. But the good news is that there’s no need to fear the extraction. You’ll be numbed up for the entire thing. You can also opt for a mild sedative like laughing gas to keep you comfortable and relaxed. The extraction will be over before you know it!

Here’s even better news: you might be able to skip the extraction altogether.

Not All Wisdom Teeth Need Extraction!

Did you know that a wisdom tooth extraction isn’t a rite of passage?

That’s right, not every single person needs to have their last molars removed. As long as your wisdom teeth have plenty of room to come in straight, you should be able to hold onto them.

Of course, you will have to keep your third molars clean and healthy to avoid gum and dental problems. As long as you can properly reach those teeth to brush and floss them every day, they can stay healthy for a lifetime and won’t need extraction. Consider your wisdom teeth a bonus and consider yourself lucky!

If your wisdom teeth haven’t come all the way in yet, then a dentist will have to monitor them. Routine dental x-rays are the best way to track wisdom tooth development. Wisdom teeth that are impacted or show signs of growing in crooked may need extraction before they even erupt out of the gums.

What About Your Teeth?

The best way to find out whether or not your wisdom teeth should come out is to see a dentist. A Tacoma general dentist like Dr. Duke Bui will evaluate your oral health and tooth alignment using the latest technology. This will determine the condition your third molars are in and whether they pose a threat to your smile.

Are you ready to schedule a wisdom teeth consultation in Tacoma? Call Duke N. Bui, DDS, PS - Family Dentistry today to plan your appointment.

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