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The Pros and Cons of Wisdom Teeth Removal

 Possibly the most common oral surgery performed, the removal of wisdom teeth is often a hot-button issue for dentists and patience alike. Some feel that, since wisdom teeth are generally not needed and cause more problems than benefits, removing them - even when healthy - is typically the way to go.

What are wisdom teeth?
Your wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth to erupt through the gums. They grow in the very back of your mouth, one in each quadrant, and typically appear late in your teenage years. Some of us develop problems with them and need them removed, while others will live our entire lives with them without experiencing any problems.

Why are wisdom teeth such an issue?
The problem with wisdom teeth is that they very commonly erupt improperly. They may come in at poor angles, with poor spacing in relation to surrounding teeth, or become impacted in the gums. As a result, we often find our teeth being crowded, shifted, or otherwise damaged by these rogue teeth. Also, wisdom teeth can be notoriously hard to clean. Not only are they set so far back in the mouth, they sometimes grow so closely to their surrounding teeth that their gaps are hard to reach and clean. To avoid misalignment of your teeth, infections, or other causes of dental pain and complications, removal of them is often recommended.

How are wisdom teeth removed?
Wisdom teeth may be extracted surgically or non-surgically. A wisdom tooth that has already erupted beyond the gum can often be removed by a general dentist within a couple of minutes. (This is more common with upper wisdom teeth.) However, if the tooth is still embedded deep within the gum, oral surgery is typically required. You will be anesthetized locally and generally (twilight sleep is common), and an oral surgeon will perform the extraction.

The recovery from wisdom tooth extraction is very similar to that of any other extraction. You will spend a few days controlling bleeding and managing pain, while chewing on the other side of your mouth and avoiding crumbly foods - as well as smoking, sucking through a straw, etc.

Should I just have them removed as soon as they grow in?
Indeed, some dentists recommend the extraction of wisdom teeth as soon as they appear, as this stops these common wisdom tooth problems at the root. After all, wisdom teeth are not essential for chewing and are often more trouble in than out. However, other dentists prefer to avoid any unnecessary surgical procedures to eliminate the possibility of surgical complications.

Share your concerns with your dentist or oral surgeon. He or she will have professional expertise and input to provide as you decide on the ultimate path to take regarding your wisdom teeth.

Find out how you can save 20% or more if you need to have your wisdom teeth removed as a member of Careington.