A wisdom tooth extraction is a common surgical procedure that involves the removal of one or more of your wisdom teeth. It is usually performed by a dentist. Wisdom teeth are the permanent teeth that grow at the very back of the mouth. Wisdom teeth, also known as third morals, often grow in before the…
Is a Wisdom Tooth Extraction a Common Procedure?
According to the American Journal of Public Health, a wisdom tooth extraction is performed about five million times each year. Also known as the third set of molars, wisdom teeth are the only set of teeth that are not necessary in the mouth. They are a relic of evolution, from a time when humans consumed harder foods, serving as a set of extra molars.
Wisdom teeth typically appear during your late teens or early 30s, and they are the most likely set of teeth to develop issues, like tooth decay, due to their location at the back of the mouth. Patients are typically evaluated on an individual basis to determine if they need wisdom tooth extraction. The dentist’s recommendation usually comes down to how likely the tooth is to cause problems in the future.
Figuring out if you need wisdom tooth extraction
Various factors determine if a person needs to have one or more wisdom teeth extracted. Reasons that a dentist might recommend extracting a wisdom tooth include the following.
1. To treat infection
Wisdom teeth being in the back of the mouth makes them harder to clean than other teeth. Bacteria and food particles can accumulate on them, leading to decay. A dentist might choose to treat a minor cavity with fillings, but extraction might be recommended if the tooth is severely decayed, damaged, or infected.
Extraction is often recommended if a severe issue like an infection develops on a wisdom tooth because it is hard to justify the costs of fixing it. The tooth still has a high chance of developing other issues that require expensive treatments. Extracting the tooth provides the best solution because wisdom teeth are not needed for good oral health.
2. To remove an impacted wisdom tooth
A tooth is impacted when it fails to erupt above the gumline, typically due to being stuck in bone and gum tissues. An impacted tooth has a high chance of becoming infected in the future, and its growth can end up negatively impacting adjacent teeth. Dentists typically recommend extracting impacted wisdom teeth before they cause serious damage in the mouth.
3. To make space on a crowded jaw
Some people do not have enough space on their jaw to accommodate all four wisdom teeth. That can lead to issues like crowded teeth as the wisdom teeth start to emerge. A dentist can help prevent this by extracting wisdom teeth to make more space for the rest of the patient’s teeth.
4. To prevent future problems
Dentists often recommend removing wisdom teeth to avoid having to deal with bigger issues in the future. Wisdom teeth are harder to clean, which makes them more vulnerable to decay. Many people who opt not to have their wisdom teeth removed often end up doing so in their senior years. The problem is that the risk of complications from oral surgery goes up as a person ages.
Explore wisdom teeth extraction
Our dentist can evaluate your mouth to determine if you need to have your wisdom teeth extracted. Give us a call or stop by our St George clinic to learn more about how wisdom tooth extraction and its benefits.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Wisdom Teeth Extraction in St George, UT.
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