When It's No Longer Wise To Hold On To Wisdom Teeth

Your wisdom teeth start coming in between your late teens and early 20s, but not everyone has them. An estimated 5-37% of the population are missing one or more of their wisdom teeth. 

Wisdom teeth are known as your third molars because they emerge in the back of your mouth behind your last visible teeth. On average, 85% of people have their wisdom teeth removed.

At K Street Dental & Orthodontic Group, our professional team of specialists has the expertise to evaluate your oral health, monitor the progression of your wisdom teeth coming in, and determine if you need your wisdom teeth removed

We consider several different factors when deciding what’s best for your oral health.

Reasons for wisdom tooth removal

In most cases, wisdom teeth can cause problems if not removed, including: 

Impacted wisdom teeth

If your mouth doesn’t have enough room for your wisdom teeth to erupt, they can become impacted. If they get infected, you can experience swelling or bleeding in your gums and pain in your jaw, and have a difficult time opening your mouth.

Crowding of your permanent teeth

Again, if your wisdom teeth don’t have the space to emerge properly, they can crowd your other teeth and cause damage to them and to your gums.

Crooked wisdom teeth

In some cases, wisdom teeth can come in sideways or crooked, which can damage your other permanent teeth and gums.

Cysts on your wisdom teeth

The sac next to your tooth can become full of fluid, which can cause your surrounding bones and tooth roots to deteriorate. If the cyst goes untreated, it can become a tumor that might need to be removed surgically.

At K Street Dental & Orthodontic Group, we evaluate the positioning of your wisdom teeth over time as they emerge. If they fully erupt, are positioned correctly without affecting your bite, and are easy to reach for cleaning, you don’t need your wisdom teeth removed.

What to expect when we remove your wisdom teeth

We keep you comfortable throughout the procedure so you don’t feel any pain. We give you a local anesthetic first. If we’re removing more than one tooth, we provide general anesthesia.

If you have an impacted tooth, we make a cut in your gum and around a portion of your surrounding bone, if necessary. If your tooth has emerged, we use special dental tools to divide your tooth into sections for easy removal. 

We then clean the area to make sure you don’t have any tooth fragments left behind.

After your procedure, it can take a week or two for you to fully heal. Before you leave our office, we give you instructions on how to care for your oral health. We can also prescribe medication for pain, as needed. We follow up with you to ensure a successful outcome.

To find out if you need your wisdom teeth removed, contact us today at either our Gaithersburg, Maryland, or Washington, DC, location.

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