Why and When Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth are far back in the mouth. They often are not needed for chewing and are difficult to brush and floss. Waiting until you are older can increase the risk of problems - I know - I had to do emergency extractions in the Kuwait Desert on our Citizen Soldiers... the oldest was over 40!
Removal of wisdom teeth may prevent these types of problems:
- Infection caused by a wisdom tooth partially erupting through the gum and creating an opening where bacteria may enter. Pain, swelling and jaw stiffness may result.
- Damage or crowding of adjacent teeth caused by a wisdom tooth without enough room in the jaw or one that is poorly aligned.
- A fluid-filled sac (cyst) or tumor forming on or near an impacted tooth, destroying surrounding bone or tooth roots.
It is very common for wisdom teeth to be misaligned or to erupt partially, or not at all. They remain trapped beneath the gum and bone or crowded by other teeth. Wisdom teeth may tilt sideways and cause damage to teeth next to them.
Here is a great example of wisdom teeth that are still fully encased in the bone. Dr. Kruyer was able to remove all 4 wisdom teeth in one visit. The patient's recovery was 48 hours.