As the year ends and another begins, many people, parents in particular, begin to look at their new set of dental benefits and wonder if it is time for their children to have their wisdom teeth removed. Wisdom tooth removal is a very common procedure and it may seem as though every child goes through this during his or her adolescence. However, the removal of wisdom is not always necessary and should be taken as a serious matter by every parent. Surgery is no easy task and if you believe you should have your child’s wisdom teeth removed as a precaution, here are some things to consider before choosing to have your, or your child’s wisdom teeth removed.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the final set of molars that do not emerge from the jaw until a person reaches 17 years of age, on average. However for some people these teeth never grow in. It is widely believed that early humans utilized these back molars to chew tough roots and meat. It is also believed that because of this primitive diet, teeth were often lost and wisdom teeth grow in later in life to replace them. However over thousands of years the human diet has become much easier to chew. The need for wisdom teeth is far gone, but that does not mean these teeth have stopped growing.
Problems with With Wisdom Teeth
Although our jaws are not built for wisdom teeth any longer, they still emerge. When they do, they often cause many problems for the rest of the jaw. The result is tooth pain, shifting of the teeth, and can even cause problems with the sinuses in certain situations.
Types of Impaction
When a wisdom tooth grows in at an angle towards the back molars it is referred to as a mesial impaction. This is when the wisdom tooth grows in at an angle towards the molar in front. These are the most common types of impactions. The tooth may partially erupt or may not even erupt at all. If this tooth does not cause shifting or discomfort, your Melbourne, Florida oral surgeon may just keep an eye on it, and may never need to remove it.
Distal impaction is the opposite of mesial impaction. The tooth grows at an angle away from the teeth in front of it. Depending on how dramatic the angle is your oral surgeon may not need to remove this tooth either. It is rare for this type of impaction to cause pain or discomfort. Often an oral surgeon will decide to watch this tooth for a few years before deciding whether or not to remove it.
Vertical impaction is where the wisdom tooth grows in as normal as possible. This type of impaction rarely necessitates an extraction. The only reason why a vertical impaction would need to be removed is if the jaw was too small to accommodate and it caused crowding and shifting of the other teeth.
A horizontal impaction is when the tooth grows in horizontally towards the other teeth. In almost every case a wisdom tooth oriented this way will require extraction These teeth will never emerge from the jaw but will push into the other teeth and cause pain and shifting of the teeth. What is worse about a horizontal impaction is that removing them is very difficult because it can only be seen via x-ray, and it is easy to cause damage to the surrounding teeth and tissues during extraction.
Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
For people who need their wisdom teeth removed symptoms are quite obvious. Pressure or pain will begin to build in the back of the mouth, this may be accompanied by sinus headaches if your wisdom teeth are growing into your sinuses. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to schedule a consultation with your Melbourne, Florida oral surgeon to understand what type of impaction you are experiencing. Depending on the orientation of your teeth, and the amount of pain you are in, you may not even need to have your teeth removed.
If you are wondering whether or not to have your wisdom teeth removed, call today for an appointment. Dr. Sedaros is a skilled oral surgeon who will be able to explain your case and let you know if extraction is right for you. If you do need your wisdom teeth removed his skill and expertise enables him to extract wisdom teeth with precision no matter their orientation. Call and schedule your appointment today.