What if I decide to keep my wisdom teeth?

wisdom teeth CharlottesvilleMany patients who are not experiencing symptoms due to impacted wisdom teeth may wonder why it’s recommended that they have those teeth extracted. Some may even opt to keep their wisdom teeth rather than undergo the surgical procedure needed to remove them. If you’re weighing this decision, it’s important to be as informed as possible about the potential oral health risks of keeping your wisdom teeth.

Some patients may have wisdom teeth that erupt normally, but these cases are extremely rare, as most people’s jaws are too small to accommodate these large third molars. An oral surgeon can evaluate your case and determine whether your third molars are impacted, which can cause numerous problems for your smile.

These problems include infections (which can spread throughout the body via the bloodstream in severe cases), cysts, tumors and tooth pain. Impacted wisdom teeth may also knock your smile out of alignment as they continue to push through the jaw. Not all patients may develop these problems, but the risk is increased if your wisdom teeth remain in place.

Even if you are skeptical about the need for wisdom tooth extraction, it’s still a good idea to at least consult with an oral surgeon so that you are making a decision with as much information as you can access.

Patients should consider the timing of the extraction procedure, as well. The procedure tends to be easier and recovery time shorter in patients younger than their mid-twenties. As you get older, the roots of the wisdom teeth become longer and more entrenched in the jaw.

Therefore, if you wait until you develop an issue, like discomfort or an infection, to pursue wisdom tooth extraction, the procedure may be more complicated and disruptive to your life.

We understand that any oral surgery, even a routine procedure like wisdom tooth extraction, is a major proposition for patients and comes with certain risks. The decision shouldn’t be taken lightly, but our experienced team can educate you on the process and advantages of wisdom tooth extraction. Contact Charlottesville Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center today to schedule a consultation.