The majority of the human species are born with a designated number of teeth for their lifetime. As infants and toddlers, the primary teeth arrive … twenty in all. As those teeth fall out, they make way for the permanent teeth that are to carry us through life. There are 32 permanent teeth with the wisdom teeth being the last to come in.
Our heredity often dictates how much jaw space we will have, as well as the size of our permanent teeth. When jaw space is limited or teeth are a little large, having enough room for all the teeth to erupt without overcrowding can be challenging.
If jaw space is at a premium, these teeth may not have the room needed to erupt. This can result in discomfort, and even infection.
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, can create many problems. If jaw space is at a premium, these teeth may not have the room needed to erupt. This can result in discomfort, and even infection. The wisdom teeth may be impacted or partially impacted, but that doesn’t mean they can’t start pushing teeth closer together creating a malocclusion. This occurs when the upper teeth no longer correspond with the bottom teeth.
When teeth are overcrowded, they can protrude or be forced inward. This not only creates appearance difficulties, but when teeth are crooked there are pockets between teeth that are difficult to keep clean. Plaque builds up in these areas more readily which can lead to dental decay and the potential for gum disease.
Many individuals will not be faced with these third molar issues … but for those who are, your dentist will provide an assessment of what is needed to correct the problem. It may be that only the upper or lower wisdom teeth should be extracted. But in all likelihood, all wisdom teeth would be removed in one appointment.
If wisdom teeth are impacted (not through the gum tissue), oral surgery will be required. For erupted teeth, normal extraction is usually all that is required. These are issues that can be addressed with your dentist in late teens or early twenties. For some patients, if orthodontic treatment is required, third molars may be removed at a much younger age to provide the space needed for teeth to be shifted to their correct position.
Removing third molars before overcrowding occurs is optimum. This will help keep remaining teeth straight, easier to clean, and smiling with confidence.
Contact our experienced dental team for more information about wisdom teeth removal today.