Unlike other permanent teeth, which begin to emerge in childhood, wisdom teeth develop and erupt the gum line between the ages of 17 and 25. The emergence of wisdom teeth can threaten the placement of other teeth and even reverse the positioning of teeth that had previously been straightened with orthodontic treatment. Because there is normally not adequate room in the mouth for wisdom teeth to emerge in a straight position, these teeth often come in sideways or only partially erupt.
When this occurs, wisdom teeth can cause severe crowding that can ultimately cause teeth to overlap or become crooked. If the tooth does not fully emerge and is instead impacted into the gums, it can lead to infection or an abscess. Another reason wisdom teeth are problematic is that they can cause significant discomfort in the form of headaches and facial pain for many patients. Removing wisdom teeth can alleviate discomfort and pain along with preventing damage to existing teeth.
Even hundreds of years ago, physicians and dental practitioners understood that wisdom teeth were unnecessary to oral function. In fact, the practice of extracting wisdom teeth dates back to ancient times. Removing wisdom teeth will not affect a patient’s ability to chew food efficiently, and actually presents more benefits, in many cases, than leaving them intact.
Extracting wisdom teeth is a minor oral surgery and with anesthetic and sedative medication, patients enjoy a comfortable experience. If your dentist has recommended that you visit an oral surgeon for wisdom teeth removal, we welcome you to call our practice to reserve an appointment with one of our caring surgeons.