Elk Grove, CA
Wisdom teeth have quite the reputation, but unfortunately, their reputation has little to do with their name. Instead of thinking of vast wisdom and knowledge, when most people think of wisdom teeth, they automatically think of impaction and surgical removal. Also known as your third molars, wisdom teeth typically make their appearance between 17 and 21 years of age.
However, for many of our patients, the introduction of their wisdom teeth often results in pain and misery and the eventual removal. We here at Laguna View Family Dental understand that each patient is different, and whether your wisdom teeth will need to be removed is largely dependent upon your own unique experience with these late-blooming teeth.
Will I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Fortunately, not all of our patients who have wisdom teeth will need to have them removed. If you start to notice swelling, pain, signs of an infection or any other complications associated with an impacted wisdom tooth, then yes. There is a very good chance that you will need to have your wisdom teeth removed. There are several different types of impaction that we see here at our office.
Of the four types of impaction we see, the most common type of impaction is called mesial impaction. This occurs when the wisdom tooth points toward the front of your mouth. It is not usually painful, and the angle of the impaction will determine if we need to remove it. Sometimes it does resolve on its own.
The least common type of impaction, on the other hand, is called distal impaction. This happens when the tooth is pointed toward the back of your mouth. Like mesial impaction, this type of impaction is a “wait and see” variety. We will monitor it over a period of one to two years and if the tooth uprights itself, it may erupt on its own. If not, we may then decide to remove it.
Another common type of impaction is called vertical impaction. This type of impaction occurs when the tooth is almost entirely vertical. It may not be a problem on its own unless it touches nearby teeth. We very rarely need to surgically remove this type of wisdom tooth, as it usually does erupt on its own.
Lastly, we encounter horizontal impactions. These are extremely painful to our patients and typically do need to be surgically removed. This type of impaction means that the wisdom tooth is on its side in a horizontal angle and is pressing painfully against the surrounding tooth. It will not erupt on its own and can cause lasting damage if we do not take care of it right away.
After your surgery, be careful to follow our aftercare instructions. Avoid drinking from a straw or dislodging the blood clot that forms at the site, as it can cause a painful condition called dry socket. Be very careful brushing your teeth, and avoid vigorous swishing of liquids. If you notice any signs of an infection or complications (such as running a fever, excess bleeding, discharge, or a dry socket), notify us immediately.
Wisdom teeth do not automatically mean that you will require surgery, but occasionally our patients do require it. If you would like to learn more about wisdom teeth, or you would like to schedule an appointment at our office for a checkup, please give us here at Laguna View Family Dental a call today at (916) 683-1335!