Wisdom teeth usually develop during the late teens or early the twenties. Some patients don’t experience any problems associated with their wisdom teeth and others may need to have them extracted to protect their existing teeth. It is common for patients to wonder whether or not they need to have their wisdom teeth removed. We recommend that patients visit a trusted, experienced dentist who can perform a thorough examination of your teeth. Restorative dentist Dr. Brent Blaylock offers a range of restorative, cosmetic, and general dentistry services in his Durham, NC dental office, including wisdom teeth extractions. With over 30 years of dentistry experience, Dr. Blaylock takes the time to examine your smile thoroughly and plan an effective treatment to address your dental needs and restore your smile. We understand that patients like to be well informed in regards to their oral health, so we encourage patients to ask questions when they visit our office. In the meantime, we have compiled a list of common wisdom teeth questions.
FAQS: Wisdom Teeth
What are wisdom teeth?
They are usually the last set of teeth to emerge. They are located in the back of the mouth and are usually referred to as the third molar. Patients can develop up to four wisdom teeth, two in the top row and two in the bottom row of teeth. Some patient’s wisdom teeth may fully erupt, partially erupt, or become impacted.
Do I need my wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth aren’t typically needed to perform any major function. Due to the location of your wisdom teeth, your dental hygiene may be compromised. Partially impacted teeth may leave you more susceptible to infection, cavities, or tooth decay. More often than not, wisdom teeth can cause discomfort or can damage the surrounding teeth if they aren’t properly removed. Wisdom teeth removal can alleviate some of your symptoms and restore health back into your smile.
Why should wisdom teeth be removed?
During your consultation, Dr. Blaylock will examine your teeth and wisdom teeth to determine what the best plan is for your smile. Depending on his finding, Dr. Blaylock may suggest extracting your wisdom teeth. Our goal is to keep your smile healthy and functional, so removing your wisdom teeth may be the best option for you. You may need your wisdom teeth extracted for any number of reasons, including:
- Bite problems
- Alignment issues
- Cyst-forming below the teeth
- Pain or discomfort
- Gum irritation
How are wisdom teeth removed?
The wisdom teeth removal process depends on the location, position, and your overall health. For wisdom teeth that are fully erupted, a tooth extraction will be performed. For wisdom teeth that are partially erupted, a more advanced procedure is involved. When the wisdom teeth have partially erupted, your dentist may need to remove your wisdom teeth out in pieces in order not to compromise the bone structure.
Is removing the wisdom teeth painful?
During your treatment, patients may receive a local anesthetic, used to numb the wisdom teeth and the surrounding area. Patients may also receive a sedation option like laughing gas to keep them comfortable and relaxed throughout their procedure. If sedation is used during your treatment, it is important for patients to coordinate a ride home after their procedure.
Schedule A Consultation
If you haven’t scheduled one of your biannual preventive care visits, contact our Durham, NC dental office to schedule an appointment. Dr. Blaylock encourages patients to visit his office twice a year so that he can perform a comprehensive exam to determine if you need any detailed treatment.