Can I keep my wisdom teeth?

impacted wisdom teeth

If you’re like most adults in the country, chances are the topic of wisdom teeth has come up in a conversation. Most people discuss whether they have their wisdom teeth or not and when they had them removed. It’s almost like a rite of passage. But what if you’ve never had your wisdom teeth removed? Should you go ahead and just have them taken out or should you keep them?

These are some of the most common questions Dr. Movassaghi gets. After all, wisdom teeth have a bad reputation and most people don’t want to deal with the problems they can cause.

What are impacted wisdom teeth?

When a person’s wisdom teeth are impacted the teeth have not erupted from under the gums and bone. If teeth are healthy and growing properly they have plenty of room to erupt, but for many wisdom teeth either never erupt or erupt partially.

A partial eruption is bad because you have a small portion of the tooth that’s exposed and more prone to decay because it’s hard to reach and situated perfectly for plaque build up.

Teeth that have not erupted at all might seem innocent, but they can cause problems if they’re situated oddly under the surface. So, for example, if a tooth is growing sideways under the surface, it can cause surrounding teeth to shift, thus impacting your overall appearance. And if shifting doesn’t happen it’s still likely that your roots will begin to intercede at some point, which can be quite painful.

When should I get my wisdom teeth removed?

If the doctors deem your teeth to not be causing any problems we might say to just keep your teeth. More often than not, though, it’s suggested that you have your teeth removed to prevent future issues that might even crop up into your more mature years.

We prefer to remove wisdom teeth from younger individuals, as the healing process usually is easier. However, it’s important that you talk with the doctor to learn what is recommended for your unique situation.

What is wisdom tooth removal like?

Wisdom tooth removal is a simple, in-office procedure that takes usually no more than 45 minutes to complete. Because you’re placed under general anesthesia, you won’t feel or remember anything.

While you’re under the doctor will remove your teeth through an incision in your gums. Once removed they’ll be sutured and the anesthesia reversed.

Recovery usually takes a few days before you can start eating hard foods again. We’ll prescribe pain medication and also a routine of icing your face to prevent or lessen swelling.

If you’re experiencing discomfort it might be time to talk to your dentist about your wisdom teeth and have them do some investigating as to whether they’re the root of the problem.

Alireza Movassaghi, D.D.S and Other Dentist Dr. Alireza Movassaghi brings 30 years of experience to the practice at Alvarado Family Dental Center. As a graduate of the USC School of Dentistry, he works tirelessly to expand access to dental care throughout the Los Angeles area. Along with his passion for expert dental care, he exhibits a love of soccer and beautiful cars.
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