Wisdom Teeth/ Tooth Extractions
A dental extraction is the removal of a diseased or impacted tooth from the mouth. Extractions are performed for a wide variety of reasons. Most frequently, an extraction is necessary when decay has destroyed enough tooth structure to prevent successful restoration. An extraction is also needed when a tooth is broken or fractured. We routinely perform extractions of impacted or problematic wisdom teeth and extractions of permanent teeth to make space for orthodontic treatment.
Other possible reasons for tooth extraction are as follows:
- Insufficient space for wisdom teeth (impacted wisdom teeth)
- Extra teeth which are blocking other teeth from coming in
- Severe gum disease which may affect the supporting tissues and bone structures of teeth
- Severe tooth decay or infection
- In preparation for orthodontic treatment (braces)
- Receiving radiation to the head and neck may require extraction of teeth in the field of radiation
Wisdom teeth are the set of molars that usually appear between the ages of 17 and 24 (although they may appear when older, younger, or may not appear at all). They are commonly extracted when they affect other teeth—this impaction is colloquially known as “coming in sideways.” A wisdom tooth is extracted to correct an actual problem or to prevent future problems. Wisdom teeth are extracted for two general reasons: either the wisdom teeth are impacted, or the wisdom teeth could potentially become problematic if not extracted. Potential problems caused by the presence of wisdom teeth include infections caused by food particles easily trapped in the jaw area behind the wisdom teeth where regular brushing and flossing is difficult and not effective. Such infections may be frequent, and cause considerable pain and medical danger. Decay and infection also occur between the third and second molars, requiring more extensive treatment and possible the loss of additional teeth. Another reason to have a wisdom tooth removed is if the tooth has grown in improperly. Also, it is a wise choice to have them removed if undergoing orthodontic work because once the teeth have come in there might not be enough space for the teeth to erupt properly, causing recurrent wounds or infection.
The extraction of wisdom teeth can be a simple or complex surgical procedure, and should only be performed by dental professionals with proper training and experience performing such extractions. After an examination and x-rays, your general dentist will determine the risk and benefits of extraction third molars.