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Do Wisdom Teeth Always Need to be Removed?

Not everyone has wisdom teeth — or third molars — but most people have at least one. These teeth grow in the very back of your mouth and are usually the last ones to come in, typically in the late teens or early 20s. 

When your wisdom teeth emerge healthy and properly positioned, they might not need removal. But because wisdom teeth don’t always break through just right, you can deal with a variety of issues. Removing them often becomes a preventive measure, even if the wisdom teeth haven’t caused any problems.

If you have questions about your wisdom teeth, Dr. Lovely C. Manlapaz Teodoro at The Dental Center of Hercules in California’s Bay Area can help. She offers the most advanced services for all of your dental needs at her boutique dental practice, including digital X-rays and two comfortable tooth extraction methods. 

Here’s why you should consider making an appointment for your wisdom teeth today.

When you should remove wisdom teeth

It’s easy to assume that you can ignore a wisdom tooth if you can’t see it. But these pesky molars can still cause problems when they’re out of sight — and yet to break through your gumline. 

It’s also possible for wisdom teeth to come up at advanced ages — the oldest person on record was 94 years old! — sometimes causing intense pain and complications in the process. 

Wisdom teeth can be a problem for several reasons. Many wisdom teeth get stuck — we call it “impacted” — partially or fully below your gumline, so they can’t grow into your mouth. Others grow at an angle, pushing against other teeth, toward the back of your mouth, or within the jawbone itself. And, sometimes, a person’s mouth is just too small for more teeth.

The most common dental problems caused by wisdom teeth include:

Wisdom teeth can also cause significant pain. Because the bones in your mouth grow harder as you age, Dr. Teodoro often recommends removing your wisdom teeth when you’re young and healthy. 

What to expect during wisdom tooth removal

Dr. Teodoro takes X-rays of your mouth to evaluate your wisdom teeth and whether they require removal. You can have your extractions done using a local anesthetic or nitrous oxide sedation. Both of these anesthesia options will keep you comfortable throughout the process.

To remove your tooth, Dr. Teodoro makes a small incision in your gum. This gives her access to your tooth so she can slowly wiggle it free. After removing the tooth, Dr. Teodoro closes the incision with stitches.

It usually takes 90-120 minutes to remove multiple wisdom teeth. After your procedure, Dr. Teodoro provides detailed instructions on how to care for your mouth so you heal as quickly as possible. 

It’s common to have some swelling and pain for a few days, but applying ice to your jaw can help with your discomfort. You should also relax for at least 24 hours and avoid drinking hot liquids, smoking, or using a straw while you heal.

To see if you should have your wisdom teeth removed, call us today at The Dental Center of Hercules, send us a message here on our website, or use our convenient online booking feature to schedule your appointment.

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