Wisdom Teeth: Should They Stay or Should They Go?

April 5, 2017

Wisdom Teeth: Should They Stay or Should They Go?

Everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth evaluated, and there’s good reason for this. If your mouth does not have the space to fit wisdom teeth and nothing is done about it, the result will inevitably be some infection and disease.

Simply put, there’s either enough room in your mouth to support wisdom teeth or there isn’t. If it’s too early in your life to tell for certain, then regular monitoring by your dentist is essential until a final decision can be made.

What Should I Do about My Wisdom Teeth?

The decision to extract wisdom teeth should be made while you’re still young enough to avoid problems. The longer in life that you wait, the likelihood of complications from impacted and misaligned wisdom teeth increases. Bone also hardens as we age making extraction more traumatic.

“I do emergency work all year long, so I’ve had the opportunity to see on a regular basis the real problems associated with failing to remove problematic wisdom teeth,” Dr. Richard N. Bash said. “Generally speaking, most people really need them out, and some can keep them.”

Exams at the Right Age

If it’s still possible, we suggest that you undergo a comprehensive exam before wisdom teeth erupt. The age at which wisdom teeth start to come in can vary to a degree, but this usually occurs between the ages of 17 and 21, according to the American Dental Association.

Bash Dental, the leading dentist in the Horsham region, recommends that evaluations should begin at age 15, if not earlier.

Don’t Miss Your Checkups!

The age when wisdom teeth come in is also an age where many go on to secondary education and move away from their parents. Unfortunately, many people fail to see their dentist during this time. Don’t let this happen, especially if your wisdom teeth are being monitored.

What Happens if I Don’t Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

With over 30 years of experience in general and emergency dental care, Dr. Bash has seen the good, the bad and the ugly.

‘It’s a common occurrence for people to come in to see us in a whole lot of pain, and they should have had their wisdom teeth removed a while back, but there’s already damage to other teeth or a bad infection,” said Bash. “It’s tough to see. As a dentist, you know that this could have been avoided if they had stayed on top of things.’’

While it’s true that not everyone needs to get their wisdom teeth removed, damage can still occur. This damage includes:

  • Wisdom teeth that have come in misaligned, damaging the teeth next to them
  • Overcrowding, causing teeth to shift
  • Infection of gum tissue
  • Tumors and cysts
  • Bone destruction

“The reality is that the majority of the patients I’ve seen over the years, extracting wisdom teeth typically ends up being the best option for overall health.” Bash states. “It’s also true that some people can stand to keep their wisdom teeth, but those people are the minority and are also under extra pressure to stay on top of home care and regular checkups. Wisdom teeth are tough for people to keep healthy.”

High-Risk Chompers

So, you and your dentists have decided your mouth can support your wisdom teeth. But, you’ll need to be extra vigilant because the location of wisdom teeth makes them more prone to damage and decay.

“It’s not uncommon to see an individual with otherwise good oral hygiene end up with decayed wisdom teeth, even though they might fit in the mouth and are well-aligned,” warns Bash. “So, it’s absolutely imperative for such patients to keep up with checkups in order to catch problems before they spiral out of control.”

Bash Dental, regarded as the top dentist in North Wales, PA and the surrounding areas, regularly performs wisdom teeth extractions. If a family member is 15 years old and doesn’t have a regular dentist, bring them in for an exam.

If your wisdom teeth have come in and you haven’t been evaluated, we encourage you to visit us for a complete oral exam at our office. You can call us at 215-618-9861 or fill out a contact form on our website to schedule an appointment today.

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