North Syracuse, NY
Your wisdom teeth are a third set of molars in your mouth. They are often referred to as wisdom teeth because they are the last set of teeth to erupt which is often in later adolescence. Their positioning and late arrival can be a source of trouble, so in most cases patients are advised to have these teeth extracted. At Mahar Dental, we are happy to evaluate your jaw, teeth and their positioning. We can then offer advice that is specific to your needs.
Having a third set of molars may have been necessary for our ancestors many generations ago, but they no longer fit our needs, neither physically nor nutritionally. Our ancient ancestors would have used these molars to help break down food that is rough and coarse in design. Today, the way we prepare our food has eliminated much of the work that our teeth need to do. In addition to changes in how we eat, we have also experienced changes in our body including a reduction in the size of our jaw. A third set of molars no longer fits on our jaw like it used to, causing our wisdom teeth and neighboring teeth to fight for space. The result of this fight is not in our favor. In general, most patients, more than 80%, benefit from the extraction or removal of their wisdom teeth.
Why Are Wisdom Teeth Extracted?
For most patients, we recommend the removal of wisdom teeth. Reasons can include:
||Insufficient Space: A common reason wisdom teeth are removed is due to a lack of space. The jaw is not big enough to provide the room they need to correctly go into position. This lack of space may cause the wisdom teeth to twist out of alignment or to push neighboring teeth out of their alignment. This can cause changes to your bite and to your jaw hinge.
||Impacted: Along with insufficient space, wisdom teeth are often impacted. This means that they are unable to fully erupt above the gum line. Impacted teeth leave spacing between the tooth and gum tissue, leaving room for bacteria to settle and hide. This is often a cause of decay and gum disease.
||Difficult to Clean: Wisdom teeth are difficult to clean due to being impacted, and their distance or positioning in your mouth. Many patients are unable to properly clean wisdom teeth because they are difficult if not impossible to get to with a toothbrush or floss. Bacteria can generally find many hiding spaces that they will not be disturbed from, causing infection to occur.
Wisdom Teeth Extraction
During your regular dental examinations, we will check the status of your wisdom teeth. We will make recommendations to you specific to what is best for your needs. For a majority of our patients, we will recommend the extraction of their wisdom teeth, often in young adulthood. Ideally, we want to remove the teeth when there is sufficient tooth to grab a hold of, but before the tooth has had time to grow long roots that have formed a hook shape. Removing wisdom teeth after the roots have grown longer can be more painful.
We can review the procedure and anesthetic options with you based on your needs. There are various options available. For more information, contact our North Syracuse office at (315) 766-2770.