Your third and final set of molars are called “wisdom teeth,” named for the fact that they typically emerge in your late teens or early twenties when you’re supposedly ripe with wisdom. These molars can be a harmless late addition to your teeth, but more often than not, they present complications that require their removal. If you’re in Thousand Oaks, California, and have concerns about your wisdom teeth, the team at 1000Oaks Dental & Implants can diagnose and extract any potential problems. To learn more, call or request an appointment online.
Whether your wisdom teeth have fully emerged, partially emerged, or impacted (trapped underneath your gum), there are a number of different ways that they can create problems in a healthy mouth.
Sometimes there simply isn’t enough room in your mouth for extra teeth. If your wisdom teeth emerge without the appropriate amount of space, they can cause crowding and damage to the neighboring teeth and nerves. The wisdom tooth itself might also emerge misaligned, which makes it more difficult to floss and brush, and leaves you more prone to cavities, infection, and gum disease.
A partially emerged wisdom tooth essentially opens up a hole in your gums that is particularly susceptible to bacterial infection, which can lead to pain and swelling in the mouth and stiffness in the jaw.
An impacted wisdom tooth can cause a cyst to form in your gums, which can lead to damage of the surrounding roots and the bone beneath the tooth.
Your dentist will monitor the development of your wisdom teeth and determine if and when they need to be extracted. If you’re in any sort of pain or are showing any signs of infection, they might decide that it’s time to take them out.
Sometimes it’s best to remove your wisdom teeth before they’ve erupted through your gums. This helps to avoid any potential problems that might worsen if the teeth have a longer time to mature. Younger teeth are easier to extract because the root is less developed and the bone isn’t as dense.
If you and your dentist decide that you can keep your wisdom teeth, they should be maintained and monitored regularly for potential complications.
If your wisdom teeth have already emerged, removing them is as easy as removing any other tooth: your dentist will give you a combination of anesthetics and pull the tooth.
If they’re impacted, your dentist will anesthetize you, then make a small incision in your gum and remove a small piece of the bone covering the impacted tooth. They’ll then take out the tooth in pieces, in order to minimize the extraction hole.
Whatever your wisdom tooth needs may be, 1000Oaks Dental & Implants looks forward to providing you with compassionate and qualified care. Call the office or book an appointment online.