3 Pros and Cons of Wisdom Teeth Removal
For years now, dental care professionals have been giving us almost universal advice regarding care for wisdom teeth, and that advice has been pretty unanimous, get them removed. But is this always necessary? What are the advantages and disadvantages of keeping your wisdom teeth?
Why Are They Called "Wisdom" Teeth?
The third molars that make up the last row of teeth are called wisdom teeth because they appear several years after the other permanent teeth have broken through the gums. So, when a person is older or "wiser," the teeth appear. As they break through the gums, they can cause significant discomfort. If this pain is ongoing or not well controlled with over-the-counter pain relievers, it's a good idea to contact a Dental Office Near Me for assistance.
They Can Cause Pain And Other Issues
There are many advantages to having wisdom teeth removed, and one of the main benefits is pain reduction. Depending on available space in the mouth, the wisdom teeth may push and apply pressure on the surrounding teeth. This situation can not only cause pain, but it can also lead to orthodontic issues later on.
Leaving the wisdom teeth intact can also cause crowding issues in the mouth. If the teeth are too crowded, it can make flossing and other routine maintenance challenging to accomplish. This issue can be further complicated if the large roots of the wisdom teeth take over the root space of surrounding teeth.
The Teeth May Be Impacted
Occasionally, the wisdom teeth do not fully break through the gums and remain partially or entirely impacted. These cases make it extraordinarily difficult to clean and maintain the teeth as most of the tooth is settled inside the gum, leading to gum disease and tooth decay.
But many times, removal of wisdom teeth involves oral surgery, particularly in cases of impaction. These surgeries can be risky with the threat of nerve or blood vessel damage. Nerve damage sustained during a wisdom tooth extraction may be permanent. Serious infections are rare, especially if post-operative instructions are followed.
Bacterial Infection Risks
Another risk of impacted wisdom teeth is infection. Since proper dental hygiene is difficult to perform on these teeth, bacteria can set in. The warm, moist environment of the mouth is a perfect location for a bacterial infection to thrive. In rare cases, this infection can spread to other areas of the body when the bacteria is swallowed.
Check With Your Dentist
Some mouths have plenty of space to accommodate a third row of molar's and cause no pain or other ill effects. For these rare individuals, extraction may not be necessary, but it's best to be examined by a licensed dental professional to determine if this is the case.
Having wisdom teeth removed while the patient is still relatively young can significantly reduce the chances of complications later. This approach can also provide some cost savings by eliminating a major cause of misaligned teeth which can lead to braces. In the U.S., the average cost of braces can run as high as $10,000.
While removing wisdom teeth is a standard procedure, more and more dentists today are taking a wait-and-see approach in cases where the need for tooth removal is not immediately apparent. Close monitoring by a dental care professional can help to provide some peace of mind.