Wisdom teeth, which are also known as “third molars,” can become troublesome for many teenagers and adults. These teeth have a tendency to become impacted or unable to erupt. When they do, they can cause overcrowding and be difficult to clean, resulting in a higher risk of periodontal disease. There are many risks involved in leaving wisdom teeth in the mouth; so many dentists will advise patients to have them surgically removed. This is because wisdom teeth can result in:
- Pain and discomfort
- Swelling and infection
- Higher risk of periodontal disease and cavities
- Misalignment of the dental arch
In most cases, it is desired to have the wisdom teeth removed, sometimes before they become a problem. There are often four wisdom teeth-one in each corner of the mouth. Drs. Thompson and Frey of Owensboro, KY may suggest wisdom teeth extractions for any of the reasons above, and will explain the benefits of removal. More often than not, it is a better idea to have the teeth removed than it is to leave them and monitor them over time.
To determine if a wisdom tooth needs to be removed, Drs. Thompson and Frey will provide a thorough examination of the patient’s mouth and perform x-rays to see the teeth and bone structure. If the patient is experiencing pain, removal may be required to address the impacted teeth. Patients may decide to maintain their third molars, but this requires that the dentists monitor them closely. This is to ensure they are being thoroughly cleaned during brushing and flossing and are not developing cavities. Due to their location in the mouth, they are often difficult to brush and floss.
Patients who believe they may need wisdom teeth extractions are encouraged to contact the team at Thompson and Frey Cosmetic and Family Dentistry of Owensboro, KY to schedule a consultation and examination to determine the need for surgical intervention. The team is committed to ensuring patients have a healthy smile, and in some instances, the removal of the third molars can assist in maintaining a comfortable smile for years to come!