Before making the recommendation to remove third molars (wisdom teeth), our oral surgeons at Tampa Bay Institute of Oral Surgery and Dental Implants take 3D digital x-rays to see the position of the teeth in your jaws. If your wisdom teeth are healthy, they might not need to be removed, but most people benefit from their removal. Here’s why:
- Many people do not have room in their jaws for their third molars, plus all the other teeth required for a beautiful natural smile and optimal chewing function. This results in crowding that pushes other teeth out of alignment and creates a poor occlusion (bite) and a “crooked” smile. Orthodontics to improve and maximize tooth alignment will depend on third molar removal to make room in the jaw. This is true regardless of whether a wisdom tooth has erupted or is impacted, because un-erupted wisdom teeth put pressure on the roots of adjacent second molars.
- The pressure of a wisdom tooth against the adjacent tooth’s roots and surrounding gum tissue is commonly painful. This is true regardless of whether the wisdom tooth has erupted or is impacted.
- Gum infection in the area will be difficult to fully treat if there is crowding.
- Because third molar tooth surfaces are more difficult to access at the back of the mouth, your daily brushing and flossing may not be adequate to prevent the development of chronic gum inflammation.
- For the same reason, third molars are more prone to developing cavities, and this dental disease commonly spreads to the adjacent second molars.
- These above conditions are going to be a life-long problem.
The timing for wisdom tooth removal typically depends on whether you are in pain, you are preparing for orthodontics, gum infection or cavities have developed, or you can take the time now to have your third molars removed before problems develop.
For a diagnostic examination and to learn if your wisdom teeth need removal, call today!