oral surgery ChicagoPatients whose wisdom teeth have not been problematic are sometimes reluctant to have those teeth removed. They may want to avoid oral surgery in Chicago due to apprehension, or they may have been misinformed that it’s unnecessary to extract teeth that aren’t causing pain.

However, the wisdom teeth (also known by the more technical term “third molars”) should usually be removed even before they cause pain or other symptoms. Leaving the wisdom teeth in place can lead to major issues, and the oral surgery needed for extraction becomes more challenging as patients get older and the wisdom teeth’s roots get longer and more entrenched in the jaw bone.

When patients have reached their late teens and there are no signs of the wisdom teeth erupting, it’s a safe assumption that the teeth are impacted. The first step in confirming a wisdom tooth impaction is an advanced x-ray, a 3d CT scan, in which this dual degree Chicago oral surgeon will examine the jaws for signs of the wisdom teeth along with any factors that might present a complication in their presence and planned comfortable extraction.

If you are a young adult who still has your wisdom teeth you should plan to have them removed with comfortable sedation before you reach your mid-20s.

The wisdom teeth can cause a host of problems if they are not removed in a timely fashion. Impacted wisdom teeth can develop cysts or even tumors. If the wisdom teeth eventually erupt partially, they’ll serve as a haven for bacteria because it’s nearly impossible to reach the pocketing around third molars to keep them sufficiently clean through brushing and flossing. As those bacteria collect, they’ll begin to attack the gums, leading to periodontal disease. That periodontal disease may progress to the point where the underlying jawbone also begins to deteriorate from the inflammation.  That bacteria will also increase the likelihood of decay on the neighboring good molars and can lead to those teeth needing to be extracted as well.

Aesthetic flaws can arise from the wisdom teeth, as well. If the wisdom teeth continue to push their way through the jawbone, they may crowd the other teeth and throw the smile out of alignment.

A dentist not diagnosing, discussing and referring a patient to an oral surgeon in Chicago for treatment of impacted, partially impacted, or mal-erupted wisdom teeth is doing their patients a  real disservice and indirectly committing malpractice.   Imagine not having gum disease diagnosed or treated, or a cavity not diagnosed or treated because “they don’t hurt right now”.

Although it’s best to have the wisdom teeth extracted at a young age, older patients who still have their wisdom teeth should have them skillfully removed by our dual degree Chicago oral surgeons nonetheless. Those patients should plan for a longer recovery time and the surgery may be more complex, but ultimately the benefits of having the wisdom teeth comfortably extracted with sedation outweigh the challenges.