We get a lot of questions from parents and young adults about wisdom teeth. Adults who still have them ask if theirs should be removed. And, parents ask about their kids’ wisdom teeth.
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Unfortunately, there is no cut and dry answer about whether or not wisdom teeth should be removed. Generally, if they are in good shape and are not causing problems in the mouth, then I recommend keeping them. BUT, keeping them doesn’t mean wisdom teeth will be hassle free down the road. Maintaining them and keeping them healthy can get tricky.
What are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth, also referred to
as third molars, get their name by being the last teeth to come in during young adulthood. As part of your dental visit to my office, I will examine you to determine if your wisdom teeth are healthy and properly positioned.
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When Should Wisdom Teeth be Removed?
Everyone is different, but wisdom teeth may need to be removed when the patient develops:
- damage to adjacent teeth
- gum disease
- tooth decay (if it is not possible or desirable to restore the tooth.)
I may also recommend removal to prevent problems or to clear space for other procedures like orthodontics and restorations.
Monitor Your Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth that are not removed should be monitored. Like I said earlier, the potential is there for problems down the road. Even if you keep a strict, daily oral hygiene regime, sometimes getting those wisdom teeth fully clean is next to impossible. As a result, decay sets in and cavities can form on both your wisdom teeth and those virgin teeth next to them.
Regular dental visits are extremely important so I can evaluate not just your wisdom teeth but your overall oral health. Please contact us if you’re due for an appointment.