Wisdom tooth removal often requires a surgical procedure, but some patients may not understand why that is necessary when other teeth can just be extracted in a simple, straightforward dental procedure.
The answer is that the wisdom teeth (also known as the third molars) often become impacted because there’s not enough room in the patient’s jaw for them to erupt properly. Not only are the third molars the largest teeth in our mouths, the human jaw has evolved to become smaller over time.
While other teeth may become impacted, the third molars are the most likely to do so and therefore the most likely teeth to require a surgical extraction. Impacted wisdom tooth removal may also necessitate the removal of bone in order to expose the entire tooth before it can be removed, which presents another complicating factor.
Because impacted wisdom teeth can become problematic in a number of ways, potentially causing discomfort and contributing to oral health issues, patients opt for wisdom tooth removal as a preventive measure.
The first step in this process is consulting with an oral surgeon, who can use advanced medical radiography to determine whether the wisdom teeth are actually impacted. If they are, the oral surgeon can recommend the most appropriate treatment.
When considering the timing of the procedure, it’s also important to take the patient’s age into account. It’s preferable to perform wisdom teeth extraction in patients who are younger than 25 years old. The roots of the third molars are not as long in younger patients, so it is usually easier to remove the teeth. Younger patients also recuperate more quickly and are less likely to have complications, although those issues can arise in patients of any age.
If it’s time to have your wisdom teeth removed, contact Chicago’s premiere dental surgery clinic, ORA® Oral Surgery & Implant Studio, to schedule an initial evaluation. Call 312-328-9000 to reserve an appointment with our knowledgeable and experienced oral surgeon.