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Do I Have to Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Do I Have to Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

When adult teeth erupt, pushing baby teeth out of the way, most people are under 10 years of age. You go through your teen years with eight molars, two at both ends of the upper and lower arches.

A third set of molars begin to emerge closer to your 20th birthday. Our ancient ancestors needed these extra molars to grind and chew hard-to-process foods like raw vegetables, grains, seeds, and tough meat. Since the arrival of utensils and contemporary food preparation, these molars aren’t as vital. 

It’s a good thing too, since these extra teeth don’t always fully erupt. They may rest sideways in the bone of the jaw or they could only partially emerge. Wisdom teeth can cause pain, crowding, and dental hygiene issues. 

At Lee Dental in Frisco, Texas, our wisdom teeth specialist can help. We’ll monitor your third molars, which may come in just fine, though we’ll advise you if and when problems occur. 

When wisdom teeth cause no problems

There’s no need to extract wisdom teeth when they meet several criteria, including: 

If the only condition you have is alignment of fully erupted wisdom teeth, there may be alternative treatments to adjust their positioning. 

Problems that wisdom teeth can cause

When space is tight within your mouth, wisdom teeth sometimes can’t erupt normally, so they can crowd and push other teeth. Wisdom teeth can also remain completely encased by the gums, a condition called impaction. This can lead to cysts, infections, or damage to other teeth and the bones of the jaw. 

Partial eruption has its own set of problems. These incomplete openings can be hard to see and even harder to clean, creating ideal breeding spots for bacteria. The risk of infection and gum disease skyrockets. 

Signs that you may be having problems with your wisdom teeth include:

To determine if your wisdom teeth are causing problems, turn to our team of experts for a comprehensive examination and a customized treatment plan. Contact Lee Dental in Frisco, Texas, by phone or online, to schedule your consultation. 

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