Do All Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed?

wisdom teeth removal utahWisdom teeth are so named because they come to us a little later in life than our other teeth (typically erupting by ages 16-23). Even though most of us aren’t fully wise by that time, nor do the teeth seem to make us any wiser, the name has stuck.

Some fortunate people have room for their wisdom teeth to erupt normally, and may not need them removed.

More commonly, removing or extracting the wisdom teeth is done to avoid other serious complications to your teeth, mouth tissues and jaws; they can wreak havoc with your dental and medical health.

Impacted wisdom teeth occur when there is not enough room for them to come in correctly. This can cause damage to neighboring teeth, the jawbone, and to nerves within the jaw, to mention only a few potential problems. When even partially exposed, wisdom teeth are susceptible to tooth decay and bacterial infection (‘pericoronitis’), because they are often hard to reach with the toothbrush and are nearly impossible to keep clean.

To prevent future, and possibly more serious, problems, dentists and orthodontists often recommend removing the wisdom teeth before they erupt, including before the roots grow too long. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons believe it’s better to remove the teeth before the teeth cause problems and become more firmly rooted in the jaw. Commonly this should be done when the patients are teenagers or young adults, as the patients are more likely to recover faster from surgery,

Talk to your dentist, orthodontist or Oral Surgeon about these issues and your options. They’ll help you find a surgeon that is best suited for your particular situation.