A Answers (3)
If you have no symptoms, your dentist could still recommend that you have wisdom tooth removal and extraction. It is important to note that, while not all dentists believe that this is a good practice, a large number do prescribe wisdom tooth removal as a preventive measure. Their argument is basically that even if there are no symptoms of problems with the wisdom tooth, it could still cause disease or other problems later on. It tends to be very difficult to predict what kind of problems will occur as a result of an impacted wisdom tooth. Additionally, younger patients generally have fewer complications than do older patients who have their wisdom teeth extracted. Other dentists believe that although wisdom teeth can cause problems later in life, they may not cause any problems at all. It is an expensive and painful surgery to perform and these costs may not justify the possible positive outcome. It is important to weigh the risks and benefits of wisdom tooth removal and extraction. Be sure to discuss the pros and cons with your dentist prior to making a decision.
American Dental Association answered
Wisdom teeth that are healthy and properly positioned can be an asset. Because wisdom teeth are located far back in the mouth, they are often not needed for chewing and can be difficult to brush and floss. Even if you have no symptoms, your dentist may recommend the removal of your wisdom teeth because waiting until you are older can increase the risk of problems.
Removing wisdom teeth may prevent:
- infection caused by a partially-erupted wisdom tooth through the gum and creating an opening where bacteria may enter. Pain, swelling and jaw stiffness may result.
- damage or crowding of adjacent teeth caused by a wisdom tooth without enough room in the jaw or one that's poorly aligned.
- a fluid-filled cyst or tumor forming on or near an impacted tooth, destroying surrounding bone or tooth roots.
If you are experiencing any dental pain, make sure to see your dentist regularly so that he or she can monitor your oral health.
A wisdom tooth is extracted to correct an actual problem or to prevent problems that may come up in the future. When wisdom teeth come in, a number of problems can occur:
- Your jaw may not be large enough for them, and they may become impacted and unable to break through your gums.
- Your wisdom teeth may break partway through your gums, causing a flap of gum tissue to grow over them. Food and germs can get trapped under the flap and cause your gums to become red, swollen and painful. These are signs of infection.
- More serious problems can develop from impacted teeth, such as infection, damage to other teeth and bone or a cyst.
- One or more of your wisdom teeth may come in at an awkward angle, with the top of the tooth facing forward, backward or to either side.
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