When Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed

Cartoon of impacted wisdom tooth

We all have been raised with the fear that one day we’ll have to have our wisdom teeth removed, a fear reinforced by horror stories from relatives and friends who’ve returned from the doctor with a mouth packed with cotton and tales of painful procedures.  You may be wondering whether you’ll need to have your wisdom teeth removed and, if so if it’s truly as harrowing an experience as we’ve all been led to believe.

How Do I Know If My Wisdom Teeth Need To Be Removed?
Contrary to popular belief, having your wisdom teeth isn’t always an inevitability, though it’s also important to note that you can be experiencing no pain from them and still need to have them removed.  Typically increasing pain from your wisdom teeth is an indicator that they need to be removed, but a lack of pain can also point towards hidden problems involving them. If they become impacted or stuck they’ll be unable to break through the jaw and move into the mouth, or they’re growing at an angle and silently applying pressure to all your other teeth.  In these instances the dentist may choose to remove them to prevent complications later on, especially since removing them later can become more difficult as the jaw hardens.

What Signs Are There That They May Need To Be Removed?
While they aren’t all intuitive, there are signs that you may need to have your wisdom teeth removed that you can look out for.  These signs can include:

   • Pain in neighboring teeth caused by pressure from growing wisdom teeth
   • Cysts forming near new teeth leading to jaw damage.
   • Congestion, pressure, and sinus pain can indicate wisdom teeth problems.
   • Inflammation of the gums
   • Cavities from swollen gums
   • Problems with tooth alignment caused by tooth crowding

If you are experiencing any of these concerns it may be time to have your mouth checked for potential issues caused by wisdom teeth.  Your dentist will discuss your options with you and provide an advisement for treatment.

What Should I Know About Dental Surgery?
The surgery to remove your teeth should take approximately 45 minutes and can be done in one or multiple visits depending on the condition of your mouth, the number of teeth that need to be removed, and your dentist’s advice.  While this procedure is typically done under a local anesthetic with the patient still conscious, other options may exist at your doctor’s discretion. Particularly nervous patients may receive IV Sedation or general sedation, though the latter is typically left for those cases where complications with the surgery may make it longer or more complicated.

What If I Have More Questions About Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
Contact your dentist and schedule an appointment with them.  In the appointment, they’ll provide consultation on how the procedure can take place, what options will be available to you, repercussions of not having your wisdom teeth papertyper removed, and other factors surrounding this procedure.  After coordinating with your dentist you’ll be in a position to make the best possible decision regarding your dental care.

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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