More isn’t necessarily better, and when it comes to wisdom teeth, many people simply don’t have enough room in their smile for the extra teeth. If your third molars crowd your smile or create problems for your oral health, schedule an appointment with Reston Dental Center in Reston or Vienna, Virginia. Their team of dental professionals administers safe and effective wisdom tooth extractions to get your smile looking and feeling great again. Book your visit by phone or online today.
Wisdom teeth, also known as your third molars, are frequently the last teeth to emerge in your smile and they do so much later than the rest of your teeth. They typically come in between the ages of 17 and 25, and are named “wisdom teeth” because you’re supposed to have achieved wisdom by the time they come in.
While the extra grinding surfaces of wisdom teeth were vital for early humans to properly eat, they’re largely unnecessary for modern humans, who use utensils to cut up their food and have modern cooking technology to soften it for digestion.
Nonetheless, most people still get their wisdom teeth, despite the fact that our jaws evolved to become smaller over time. Our smaller jaws usually mean that we don’t have enough room for our wisdom teeth, which leads them to become impacted, or stuck beneath the gums.
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause a variety of dental problems, including:
Impacted wisdom teeth frequently damage the teeth right next to them (your second molars), which can lead to bone loss, tooth decay, and periodontal disease.
Because your jaw might not have the room to accommodate more teeth, it can lead to undue pressure on the rest of your smile, which can ultimately cause misalignment issues.
Partially impacted wisdom teeth are much more prone to catching food and bacteria and keeping it trapped in your gum tissue, which can subsequently become infected.
If you’re concerned about your wisdom teeth, the first step is to schedule a consultation with the team at Reston Dental Center. Your dentist examines your smile to assess whether your wisdom teeth pose enough of a threat to your oral health to justify their removal. Some people can actually keep their wisdom teeth without any adverse effects, though this isn’t common.
If your dentist decides that you should have your wisdom teeth extracted, they can remove them with a relatively simple outpatient procedure. Once you’re anesthetized, your dentist makes an incision in your gum and removes your tooth. Depending on the level of your impaction, they might need to cut open a section of your jawbone in order to extract the tooth. In some cases, your dentist breaks the tooth into smaller parts while it’s still in your jaw and remove it in pieces.
You recover from your wisdom tooth extraction within a week, during which time you should avoid any sucking pressure in your mouth. If you experience any pain, you can typically manage it with a combination of icing and pain medication.
Your dentist may also recommend taking antibiotics during your recovery in order to give your gums extra protection while they’re vulnerable.
If you need a wisdom tooth extraction, schedule an appointment with the team at Reston Dental Center. Book your visit by phone or online today.