Wisdom Tooth Extraction

The wisdom teeth are the last set of molars in the back of your mouth. They typically erupt during your late teens or early twenties. Sometimes wisdom teeth can cause dental problems like overcrowding, impaction, gum disease (periodontitis), or infection, which can lead to pain, difficulty chewing, and bad breath. 

When wisdom teeth are causing problems – or likely to do so in the future – your dentist may recommend wisdom tooth extraction. At Pathway Dental Group, we’re here to help you resolve any wisdom teeth issues with our unique mix of clinical expertise and compassionate care.

Dental professional indicating wisdom teeth on a dental model

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Your wisdom teeth are the third set of molars in the very back of your mouth. Most people develop four wisdom teeth, one on each side of the top and bottom of the mouth. However, up to 35% of Americans have no wisdom teeth, and others may  develop only one or two!

Scientists believe that wisdom teeth gave our ancestors the ability to chew a broader variety of raw foods, such as nuts, seeds, and crunchy leaves. Thanks to a softer diet and the ability to cut food into smaller pieces, modern humans no longer need wisdom teeth for their original purpose. However, they remain a part of our evolutionary heritage. 

Is Wisdom Tooth Extraction Necessary?

Unlike other teeth, most people only develop one set of wisdom teeth in their lifetime. They typically don’t erupt until your late teens or early twenties, when other adult teeth have already settled into position.

Wisdom teeth may erupt crooked or sideways, causing overcrowding, and due to their proximity to nerves and sinus cavities, they can cause considerable pain, infection, headaches, and other problems. They may also be difficult to care for and impede brushing and flossing of adjacent teeth, leading to tooth decay and periodontitis. If you are experiencing any of these issues, your dentist may recommend removal of the wisdom teeth.      

How Do Wisdom Tooth Extractions Work?

During your initial consultation, the dentist will determine whether your wisdom teeth have fully erupted and if any impaction has occurred. This process will help your dentist create an appropriate treatment plan, which is typically similar to the removal of any other tooth.

You will also have several sedation options during the procedure, so you can take the approach that is most comfortable for you. Once the procedure is finished, you will rest comfortably under our supervision until you are ready to go home. Most people are back to normal within three days following wisdom tooth extraction.

Young woman presenting her smile to her dentist as he examines her teeth

Benefits of Wisdom Tooth Extractions

Wisdom teeth extraction significantly reduces the likelihood of future oral health problems, such as tooth decay or infection, bad breath, bone loss, and jaw damage. 

If you are experiencing pain due to impacted wisdom teeth, removal will provide relief and greatly improve your overall quality of life.

Am I a Candidate for Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

Wisdom teeth can cause numerous problems if there is no space for them to erupt or they become impacted. Removal may be done preventatively or to address an acute problem, but your eligibility for the procedure will primarily depend on the specific circumstances of your situation.  

Your dentist may recommend extraction if your wisdom teeth:

  • Do not have sufficient room to erupt
  • Cause damage to adjacent teeth or the jaw
  • Develop a cyst around them
  • Trap food and/or have spaces where bacteria can cause tooth decay and infection
  • Have cavities or inflamed gums around them

Contact Pathway Dental to Learn More About Wisdom Tooth Extractions

At Pathway Dental Group, your health, safety, and comfort are our top priorities. Our experienced and compassionate team are proud to offer the very best in oral surgery care, including wisdom teeth extractions, to our patients and their families. 

If your wisdom teeth are causing pain or discomfort, contact us today to find out if extraction is right for you!

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