Wisdom tooth extraction is a common dental procedure, especially among teenagers and adults. At Bellflower Oral Facial Surgery & Dental Implant Center, we possess extensive experience and high quality tools to keep the procedure as quick and painless as possible. If you need wisdom teeth extracted, even if they aren’t impacted, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation.
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are also known as third molars and are the teeth that are the furthest back on the upper and lower jaws. These are typically the last teeth to erupt from the gums and earned the name “wisdom” because they appear later in life. Most people have four wisdom teeth, but some individuals have fewer or none at all. We can tell how many wisdom teeth you have by taking a quick X-ray.
What are impacted wisdom teeth?
The average adult has 32 permanent teeth, however the human jaw developed to be too small to accommodate all of them. Because the wisdom teeth are the last to erupt, they are the ones that need to be removed. Since there isn’t space for them to emerge, they are called impacted. Impacted teeth lead to health problems because they can’t be kept clean, often leading to cavities and infections. During your x-ray, we can determine whether your wisdom teeth are impacted, if there is room for them to emerge, and the best way to remove them. The best option is typically removal before they become impacted.
Types of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth have three types of impactions:
- In soft tissue impaction, the wisdom tooth erupts, but not enough space exists to allow the gums to retract, which is necessary to clean the tooth properly. The tooth is typically removed for better cleaning and to lower the risk of infection.
- In partial bony impaction, there is not enough room for the wisdom teeth to fully erupt. The partially erupted teeth make it difficult to chew, and since they cannot be accessed for cleaning, they have a high risk of developing infections. These impactions can be painful, so they should be treated promptly.
- In complete bony impaction, the tooth has no space to erupt, so it remains embedded in the jaw bone. This type of impaction is the most difficult to address, since the tooth will need to be surgically removed, and it may be in an abnormal position that requires working closely to the jaw bone.
You can prevent problems with impacted wisdom teeth by addressing them early in life before they become impacted and pose a problem. Even if you are an adult, the wisdom teeth can cause numerous problems, especially related to eating and chewing. However, there are many options for addressing the issues, especially when working with a professional. Call Bellflower Oral Facial Surgery & Dental Implant Center, and let us give your comfortable, personalized care.