Wisdom Tooth Extraction: Making the Wise Choice

Around the mid to late teenage years, two haunting words enter into most teenagers minds.  No, it isn’t high school, or even job fair.  Those two words are Wisdom Teeth.  Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are aptly named because of the timing in which they appear, typically between age 17 and 21 according to data from the American Dental Association.1. At this time, individuals are seen as becoming wiser, thus the term wisdom teeth (a topic for debate at a later date).  Since these are simply 4 additional teeth in the back of the mouth, one might think that there is no need in going through a surgical procedure, particularly before these teeth come through the gum line.  The wise choice, however, is quite different. 

Because the mouth is typically full of adult teeth by the time wisdom teeth begin to surface, room may be scarce for these four additional molars to co-exist with the rest of their counterparts.  Lack of room, and thus, overcrowding in the mouth can lead to all sorts of problems.  For instance, without enough space, wisdom teeth, as with any other tooth, can be come impacted or trapped either within the jaw or under the gum line.  Mispositioned teeth can cause food to become trapped and predispose the patient to additional cavities and infection.1 Furthermore, this trapped food is difficult to clean out because of the positioning of the teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth have been known to cause a cyst to form around the impacted tooth itself and could damage tooth roots which support other teeth in your mouth, thus causing tooth loss and instability.1 Finally, teeth that only partially come through the gum line can cause bacteria build up leading t infection characterized by pain, swelling, and jaw stiffness.1

Oral surgeons, like Dr. Platt, are specially trained in evaluating the mouth and wisdom teeth to determine if there is enough room for these teeth to surface.  Dr. Platt understands that every patient is unique, and treatment decisions must be made on an individual basis.  Based on a full evaluation, consultation, and imaging prior to your wisdom teeth erupting or coming through the gum lines, you and your dental professional can make the best decision possible for your mouth, your oral health, and your overall health.1. Early removal, even before problems exist, can ultimately save time, money, and discomfort down the road allowing you to smile with confidence throughout your young adult years and beyond!

3rd molars, or Wisdom Teeth, typically appear between age 17 and 21, though keeping them may have some unintended consequences!

To schedule your complimentary wisdom tooth consultation, visit our website at jplattdds.com or call our office at 219-864-1133.

  1. 1. Wisdom Teeth. Mouth healthy: brought to you by the ADA.  Updated:    Accessed 23 June 2022.  https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/w/wisdom-teeth

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