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Have you had a recent visit to the dentist where removal of your wisdom teeth was recommended? Why is this important and why should you not ignore this treatment recommendation?

Most people will have four wisdom teeth, also known as your third molars. They are the last teeth to erupt through the gum line, typically in your teens or early twenties; though some never erupt at all. It is very common for wisdom teeth to need removal. In fact, it is more common for them to be removed than for a person to keep them for their entire life.

Why are wisdom teeth often concerning?
Wisdom teeth are frequently impacted, meaning partially or fully covered by a person’s gum and/or bone and they are a common source of dental problems. It is not unusual for them to grow in sideways or into a mouth too small to accommodate them. This can result in various issues including pain, infection, periodontal disease, and decay. They can damage neighboring teeth, and infections that develop in this area can travel to other parts of your body. Because prevention is an appropriate course of action, extraction is generally recommended if they may foreseeably become problematic.

I’m young, can treatment wait?
This is an appropriate question, but waiting is not recommended. The time to have your wisdom teeth removed is when you are young. An ideal time for removal is during the early twenties or late teens when the root tips of the teeth have not finished forming, thus greatly reducing the likelihood of fracturing the root tip during the extraction. Once a patient reaches their mid-thirties, the bone has become more dense and the tooth can be strongly fused to the bone. Also, recovery time takes longer and is more difficult as we age. Overall, if your dentist is recommending removal of your wisdom teeth, it is far better to practice prevention than to deal with infection, decay, and pain in the future.

Wisdom teeth removal is a common dental procedure and generally performed in a few hours under moderate sedation in our office. If you have questions about wisdom teeth removal, please do not hesitate to give us a call (360)254-5254.

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