We call your third molars “wisdom teeth” because they don't come in until you're older, typically between the ages of 17 and 21. Because your wisdom teeth don't emerge until after adolescence, they can cause trouble in your fully developed adult mouth.
However, while some dentists always recommend surgery to remove your wisdom teeth, others suggest leaving them in place unless and until any problems arise. At Airport Dental Care in Austin, Texas, Dr. Brian LaBombard, helps you make the right decision about your wisdom teeth.
Emerging wisdom teeth tend to cause some common problems. That’s why many dental professionals recommend having your wisdom teeth removed.
These third molars often provide tooth decay with a place to take root in your mouth. Placement issues can emerge as your wisdom teeth push up through your gums.
If your wisdom teeth aren't in the right place, or if they cause crowding and crookedness in your neighboring teeth, cleaning can get difficult. Pockets of food and bacteria can lead to infections in your gums, in addition to causing tooth decay.
If your wisdom teeth are impacted, meaning they don’t fully break through your gums, instead of staying partially or fully trapped inside your jaw, you may experience problems with cysts. Cysts can damage the roots of your neighboring teeth, or even destroy your jawbone.
If you have an impacted wisdom tooth that's causing cysts, you need to have the tooth surgically removed as soon as possible to protect your dental and oral health.
We might also recommend the removal of your wisdom teeth if you're getting braces or have other dental issues. Wisdom tooth removal surgery carries the usual risks, and for most doctors, it’s a routine procedure. If there's cause to worry about your wisdom teeth, removing them is typically the best option.
Keeping your wisdom teeth
Still, not everyone has to get their wisdom teeth removed. Many adults still have their wisdom teeth! Extra molars extend your chewing area, helping your digestion. If your third molars are healthy, fully grown in, and properly positioned, you may be able to keep your wisdom teeth for your entire life.
A supported decision
If you're worried about wisdom teeth, come talk to Dr. LaBombard. After taking an X-ray of your mouth and performing an examination, he can advise you about the best way to maximize your oral health.
If you need to have wisdom teeth removed, we offer convenient in-office extraction. If you decide not to have your wisdom teeth taken out, we can continue to carefully monitor them during your regularly scheduled dental appointments.
While recovery from wisdom teeth removal often goes faster for younger patients, it typically takes only a matter of days for anyone. To schedule, an appointment, Call Dr. LaBombard at 512-668-9912 or schedule an appointment online.