The wisdom tooth is the third molar. Every person has three molars on each quadrant and since the third molar is set to come out at the age of seventeen to twenty-one years old, hence its name. It is said that it comes at the age when a person is already of age and because of its late emergence on the jaw, it often loses its way. Most teeth erupt in an upright manner, beside each other. On occasion, some teeth wander away and most often than not, the wisdom tooth gets confused and it erupts out of place.
When to Extract Wisdom Teeth
Given what was said earlier, when is a wisdom tooth indicated for extraction? Should all wisdom teeth be surgically removed? Like most cases, proper diagnosis will determine the treatment plan. Clinical examination and radiographs will aid in this and if any of the following are evident, surgical removal is a must:
1. If the wisdom tooth is impacted. When a tooth is impacted it means that it is stuck. It did not come out as it should and so it is embedded either within gum, bone or both. Some wisdom teeth are upright, but are stuck within the bone. Some drift into a diagonal or horizontal position, facing either the tooth beside it or the corner of the jaw bone. The position of the wisdom tooth automatically indicates surgical removal to prevent further problems.
2. If the wisdom tooth is decayed. Often times due to its position at the very end of the jaw, the wisdom tooth is found to be decayed. When it final position within the jaw deem it difficult to be properly cleaned, it is prone to decay. If there is no perfect use for it, it may be removed.
3. If the wisdom tooth is impinging on gum tissue/cheeks. Sometimes the wisdom tooth erupts completely but it is tilted and pokes on the tissues around it. This causes gum inflammation and discomfort, so they may be removed.
4. If the wisdom tooth has no opposing tooth. After the removal of wisdom tooth, you are left with an opposing without contact. This lack of contact will cause the tooth to supraerupt in an effort to find its opposing. To avoid future problems, opposing wisdom teeth are removed at the same time because the other will have no more use without a contacting tooth anyway.
5. If the anterior teeth are beginning to crowd. When the jaw is small, the emergence of the wisdom teeth push the anterior teeth and cause them to crowd. Instead of undergoing orthodontic treatment, the wisdom teeth may be removed to prevent further crowding.
6. If the patient is developing joint problems. Sometimes, the emergence of the wisdom teeth will bring about bite changes so the joints will shift and suffer. Once this is observed, the removal of the wisdom teeth may be prescribed to avoid developing joint disorders.
7. If the patient presents with pain symptoms. Some patients will choose not to touch the wisdom teeth even though it is obviously impacted. There is nothing wrong with this move, unless there is a pressing symptom felt.
8. If the patient has braces. Before or after orthodontic treatment, it is almost always indicated for the wisdom teeth to be removed because you do not want to disrupt the results that the braces were able to obtain.
If any of the above is true for the case at hand, then a surgical removal that is called Odontectomy is in order. Sometimes a single case may present with one or more of the conditions described above. The surgery will be scheduled and the removal is performed.