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What is a wisdom tooth extraction?

Every patient is unique, but in general, wisdom teeth may need to be removed when there is evidence of changes in the mouth. When these wisdom teeth are removed this is a wisdom tooth extraction.

Some reasons for removal include:
  • pain
  • infection
  • cysts
  • tumors
  • damage to adjacent teeth
  • gum disease
  • tooth decay (if it is not possible or desirable to restore the tooth)
Your dentist or specialist may also recommend removal to prevent problems or for others reasons, such as when removal is part of an orthodontic, restorative or periodontal treatment plan.
Dante A. Gonzales, DMD
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics

The "wisdom tooth" is the third molar and usually will erupt into the mouth from age 16-22. Most of the time dentists will recommend the extraction of the wisdom teeth (third molars) as a preemptive measure. If the wisdom teeth grow into the mouth in a healthy manner and can be maintained with proper oral hygiene, there is usually no need to extract them. However, most wisdom teeth do not always fully erupt into the mouth and are difficult to keep clean. Extracting the wisdom teeth will help prevent many of the problems that commonly occur with wisdom teeth like cysts, infections, damage to adjacent teeth, and cavities. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.