Wisdom teeth are the last of the permanent teeth to develop during the late teens.
These teeth are valuable assets to the mouth when they are healthy and properly positioned. Because they are the last teeth to develop, they can be left without space to erupt and may become impacted. These are some of the problems that require their removal. Wisdom teeth may grow sideways, emerge only part way from the gum or remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. This can lead to infection under the gum flap (pericoronitis) or decay in the crown of the wisdom tooth itself or in the crown of the tooth in front of the wisdom tooth.
Questions and Answers
For several reasons wisdom teeth should be extracted before they become a problem.
- Wisdom teeth can be hard to clean and are prone to decay
- Bacteria can infect the tissue surrounding partially erupted molars and cause gum disease.
- Crowding can damage adjacent teeth and jawbone.
- If teeth are impacted, cysts can form and destroy surrounding bone.
During the late teens, when patient's wisdom teeth are about two-thirds formed and the jaw bone is complete, premolar status has been resolved. It is possible to clinically determine through x-rays and confirm the prognosis of eruption and then, if necessary, proceed with the extraction at a suitable time that is best for the patient.
Surgeons have encountered a higher number of difficulties with "older" group patients. Patients older than 35 experience an increased frequency of the following:
- More than six times the occurence of excessive bleeding
- Twice the number of fractured roots
- Surgeries take more than twice the amount of time to complete.
- Patients have four times more problems with pain after treatment.
- Swelling is more serious.
The extraction of an erupted tooth in a healthy individual is relatively simple, as well as a non traumatic event that heals in a few days. Thanks to modern techniques, patients who require extraction from impactions do not have to suffer. Effective oral pre-medication and IV sedation eliminate most anxiety associated with the procedure.
Types of Impaction
Partial Bony Impaction
Angular Bony Impaction
Horizontal Bony Impaction
Vertical Bony Impaction
Soft Tissue Impaction