Do I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

wisdom teeth

Everyone dreads the arrival and the pain that wisdom teeth bring. These last adult teeth to grow in the rear of the mouth are notorious for causing problems in an otherwise healthy smile, and may need to be removed. Many patients ask their dentists if they need their wisdom teeth removed when the time comes for them to grow in, even if they aren’t having any symptoms.

Paradox Dental Center provides high quality dental care and patient education to their patients in the Indianapolis, IN area. Read on to learn more about wisdom teeth and whether you might need them removed.

Why Are They Called Wisdom Teeth?

Your wisdom teeth usually begin to emerge between the ages of 17 and 25, which is why they’re known as “wisdom” teeth. Maybe this is because many young adults think they know everything at that age — who knows?

WIsdom teeth are technically called “third molars” in dental terms because they are similar to the first two sets of molars we have. They’re still instrumental for chewing and grinding. You might recall feeling some discomfort in middle school when your second set of molars grew in. The emergence of your third molars is the same, but this time around there’s even less room for them.

Why Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Dentists look for specific warning signs that indicate a possible need for removing wisdom teeth.

  • Pericoronitis: When wisdom teeth begin erupting, the technical term for their emergence from the gums, a flap of gum tissue can develop, which can sometimes trap leftover food particles and oral bacteria. This can lead to an infection, called pericoronitis, that irritates the surrounding gums, which can make the area difficult to clean. This condition can even occur in wisdom teeth that have not erupted yet.
  • They become impacted: Many people hear the word “impacted” and think it is synonymous with “infection” but this is not always the case. When the wisdom teeth are blocked by existing teeth and are unable to erupt properly, they are referred to as impacted. While some other patients may experience pain or discomfort when wisdom teeth are impacted, many others don’t realize they have them until a dentist finds it on an X-ray.
  • The dentist suspects a risk of future problems: If your dentist determines there is a risk of future dental or orthodontic problems by leaving the wisdom teeth in, they may suggest their extraction. Having this surgery performed is easier on younger patients, so even if you haven’t experienced problems yet, your dentist may advocate for their removal to prevent a more difficult recovery in the future.

Conservative Wisdom Teeth Treatment

It’s important to know that not all wisdom teeth will need them removed. Sometimes they erupt with no problems, or the issues can be treated with orthodontistry.  There are multiple factors to be considered, so it’s important to have regular dental check-ups, especially as a teen and young adult. Patients in the Indianapolis, IN area who want to learn more about wisdom teeth removal can schedule an appointment with Paradox Dental Center online or call us at (317) 325-8612.