Wisdom teeth are often referred to as third molars and have traditionally been removed to reduce the risk of infection and crowding. Yet, some recent research suggests that these extraction methods may pose more of a risk to patients than a benefit. Our oral and maxillofacial surgery office can help you determine if you should remove your wisdom teeth or if it is safe to leave them in place.

Some say to leave healthy teeth alone.

Even when discussing wisdom teeth removal, the principle of “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” still applies. If the wisdom teeth are healthy and not causing any problems, we often tell our patients that they don’t need to be extracted. Therefore, your third molars can stay if they are:

  • Healthy and show no signs of decay
  • The teeth have fully erupted through the gums.
  • correctly positioned and fitting into your natural bite
  • Brushing and flossing are possible.

It takes time for your wisdom teeth to fully erupt, which is the biggest obstacle to keeping your teeth. Although you may notice these teeth beginning to break through your gums at age 17 or 18, they won’t fully emerge until age 25.

Better safe than sorry.

The majority of the time, the dental community removes wisdom teeth. Their philosophy of “better safe than sorry” has proven effective. Approximately two-thirds of the time, wisdom teeth cause problems in the mouth when left in place. They’re difficult to clean, prone to cavities, and can cause gum disease.

Make sure they do not cause crowding.

The most common problem with letting wisdom teeth fully develop is that there is not enough space for the teeth to erupt fully. In addition to crowding your other teeth, your third molars could affect your overall alignment.

Crowded teeth can not only affect how your teeth align, but they can also cause gum disease and tooth decay. In situations where there is not enough room for wisdom teeth to fully erupt, the teeth may erupt at the wrong angle, creating an opening for germs and bacteria to enter your gums. Furthermore, an impacted wisdom tooth can put you at risk of infection as well as cause issues with crowding.

You should consider wisdom tooth extraction if you experience any of these symptoms.

  • Regular pain or discomfort
  • Recurring infections
  • The development of cysts or tumors
  • show signs of gum disease.
  • Symptoms of tooth decay

Consult with an oral surgeon.

Schedule a consultation with your dentist or oral surgeon to determine if your wisdom teeth should be removed. They can take X-rays, examine your mouth, and recommend the best course of treatment, weighing the pros and cons of removing your wisdom teeth.

The removal of your wisdom teeth is not without risk, just like any dental procedure. Some conditions may arise, including

  • An infection
  • Bleeding
  • Numbness
  • Increased swelling

If you have your wisdom teeth removed and you experience severe swelling or bleeding or see signs of infection, contact your oral surgeon right away.

Contact our oral surgery office for more information about wisdom teeth or to schedule a consultation.

Chicago Dental Implants, Oral & Facial Surgery
Phone: (708) 301-5000
10713 W 159th Street
Orland Park, IL 60467