Getting your wisdom teeth removed can be a nerve-wracking experience. The recovery process alone, with the swollen cheeks, ice packs, and pain killers, is enough to make you feel that it is unnecessary despite what your dentist may say. However, wisdom teeth removal is often recommended as a means to prevent several painful illnesses. We…
Is Wisdom Tooth Extraction Optional?
Wondering if a wisdom tooth extraction is optional? Most people would prefer not to undergo a tooth extraction at all; however, in the case of wisdom teeth, it is often necessary in order to combat oral health conditions. Thankfully, modern-day general dentistry has evolved quite a bit, thus ensuring that the procedure is seamless. When curious about the necessity of a wisdom tooth extraction, it can be helpful to carefully review the following information.
Wisdom tooth extraction
Below is an overview of wisdom tooth extraction, including whether or not it is optional.
Is it optional?
Technically, wisdom tooth extraction is optional; however, many general dentists advise against keeping the wisdom teeth intact, especially if there are accompanying symptoms, such as pain, crowding, or infection. With all oral procedures, the patient can decide for themselves what course of treatment they undergo, if any. However, it is important to remember that a dentist is trained to make appropriate recommendations for maintaining good oral health. Abiding by their advice and recommendations is generally the wise thing for patients to do.
Many individuals oppose wisdom tooth extraction due to the idea that the pain is unbearable and recovery takes a while. Both ideas are understandable; however, modern-day practices have allowed for effective pain management tools, which also help speed up the recovery process.
When is it recommended?
Wisdom tooth extraction is recommended when the following scenarios occur:
- Pain or discomfort in the upper or lower jaw
- Swollen or inflamed gums
- Sore or aching teeth or gums
- Tooth decay
- Infection in the teeth
- Gum disease
- Wisdom tooth impaction
Not everyone who experiences wisdom tooth eruption will experience all of the symptoms above. However, many individuals do, which is what leads them to visit the general dentist for an evaluation. Almost all of these symptoms can lead to serious dental and oral health conditions, which is why wisdom tooth extraction is recommended.
Why get a wisdom tooth extraction
General dentists may advise individuals to get a wisdom tooth extraction in order to maintain good oral health. Oftentimes, the wisdom teeth can create a lot of risks to oral health. For example, when eruption occurs, the already rooted teeth get pushed and shifted, which can be painful and result in crowding. Crowding can lead to difficulty with oral hygiene, which is known to result in cavities.
Aside from crowding causing cavities, it can also lead to crooked teeth. If the crowding becomes out of control, certain teeth might shift out of proper position, leading to crookedness. Crookedness and crowding can both lead to the need for orthodontic attention, which can be time-consuming and costly.
Another example is impaction. When wisdom teeth become impacted, it means they get stuck beneath the gums, resulting in unseen teeth, which are inaccessible. Because they are inaccessible, things like gum disease and tooth decay are likely to occur. In addition to these serious problems, impacted wisdom teeth typically induce pain and sometimes bleeding.
Having a wisdom tooth extraction performed reduces the risk of any potential oral health conditions, such as gum disease or tooth decay. Additionally, the accompanying symptoms of pain, swelling, or inflammation are minimized, thus allowing for better comfort.
While most individuals experience the need for wisdom tooth extraction, not everyone does! Some never develop wisdom teeth at all, and others develop them, but they never become problematic, meaning they do not cause any negative symptoms nor do they erupt. Of course, in these cases, the topic of extraction might never even be discussed.
In other cases, the wisdom teeth might be discovered on a scan or x-ray in which the dentist might broach the subject of having them removed, regardless of whether negative symptoms are detected or not. This is when the procedure does become optional. Patients are left to decide whether or not they want to be preemptive and have the wisdom teeth removed early on or if they would prefer to wait until problems arise. It can be beneficial to have wisdom teeth extracted as soon as possible because this allows for less time for them to become rooted. The more rooted teeth are, the more uncomfortable it is to have them removed.
Find out more about wisdom tooth extraction
When looking for more information on wisdom tooth extraction, patients can consult with a general dentist. An evaluation can be done in order to determine whether or not extraction is needed. Reach out today to learn more or to get started with a consultation.
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