Wisdom teeth are the final set of molars most individuals get in their later teenage years or early twenties. Not every person has wisdom teeth, and the number each person develops varies. While some individuals develop no wisdom teeth, others develop all four or some combination thereof. It is not always necessary to remove wisdom teeth, but it is common for them to threaten damage to the mouth. Extracting early minimizes these risks. Our goal is to educate our patients on the different manners wisdom teeth can erupt, explain why it can be problematic, and allow you to feel comfortable knowing we are looking out for your long-term oral health at every step in the process.
How Do Wisdom Teeth Grow?
In some cases a wisdom tooth erupts healthy and properly aligned, in these cases they can be a valuable addition to the mouth! If we determine your wisdom teeth are not placing you at any risk, we will respond accordingly and not take any unnecessary action. However, it is most common for the teeth to erupt impacted or misaligned. Misaligned teeth can erupt in virtually any angle – they may jut out of your mouth, into your gums, into a neighboring tooth, or even completely horizontally. Impacted teeth occur when they become trapped in the soft tissues or bone of the jaw, or only erupt partially – this can allow harmful bacteria to enter around the tooth and cause infection.
Wisdom Tooth Treatment
There are a few ways to address your wisdom teeth. Most commonly, they will be spotted via x-ray at your normal dental exam before they erupt or you ever feel them. The doctor will then present a treatment plan that is best for your specific case, and we may extract the wisdom teeth before you ever notice they’re there at all. However, it is possible for you to discover a new tooth poking through! Don’t panic – just give our office a call and schedule an appointment.
Wisdom teeth can be a bit intimidating to think about, particularly because by the time they erupt, most of us have long forgotten how these growing pains feel. While it isn’t necessarily painful, that is a fear many people have and we understand. We place a premium on communicating with you from start to finish, so by the time the process is over the only worry you have is what flavor of ice cream you’ll be enjoying during the healing process!