While healthy, natural adult teeth are capable of lasting a lifetime with the right care and maintenance, some teeth may face problems during their growth and development that can compromised that capability. Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are among the most common types of teeth to develop such problems, such as becoming impacted due to insufficient space at the ends of many people’s dental ridges. Because of the problems that this impaction can cause, wisdom teeth are also one of the most commonly extracted types of teeth.
The concerns with wisdom tooth development
The unique nature of wisdom teeth isn’t just the fact that they’re commonly extracted due to impaction problems, but reason why they become impacted in the first place. Your third set of permanent molars are the last set of teeth to develop on your upper and lower dental ridges. By the time they do, usually between the ages of 17 and 25, many people’s dental ridges are already full and lack the space to properly accommodate the extra molars. This can lead to crowding issues in which the molar becomes impacted by the nearby tooth structure that’s already present, or gets turned at an angle within the jawbone structure it’s attempting to erupt from.
The point of extracting wisdom teeth
When other types of teeth experience problems, there’s usually a treatment that can correct the issue and restore the tooth’s function in your bite. However, the specific problems associated with wisdom tooth impaction can’t typically be addressed by treating the third molars; when they become impacted, wisdom teeth must be extracted to prevent them from causing further harm. This stops the distorted angle of the wisdom tooth as it grows from causing the molar to push against the nearby tooth structure, or place excessive pressure against the bone structure of your dental ridge.
When extraction is best for your wisdom teeth
Despite the fact that wisdom teeth can often be problematic, not everyone who develops wisdom teeth experiences trouble because of it. In fact, many people develop a full set of wisdom teeth without any crowding or spacing issues at all. For this reason, you may wait until you notice symptoms of wisdom tooth impaction, such as severe discomfort in your dental ridge, before seeking treatment to extract them. However, many people choose to extract their wisdom teeth before they have the chance to cause any damage or discomfort, which can help them avoid the potential need for more extensive treatment to recover.
Learn more about wisdom tooth extraction
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are unique in several ways, including the fact that they can often become problematic as they try to erupt. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, call Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park Oral Surgery in Santa Rosa, CA, today at 707-545-4625.