Benefits of Having Your Wisdom Teeth Extracted
As dental patients enter their teenage years, they may eventually have a discussion with their dentists about wisdom teeth. The wisdom teeth are positioned behind the second molars at the back of the jawline, which is why they are sometimes referred to as third molars. Typically, these teeth emerge in your teenage years to early twenties — several years after previous permanent teeth have stopped growing.
Potential Issues Caused by Wisdom Teeth
For a large percentage of dental patients, complications of emerging wisdom teeth cause the need for their removal. The most severe of these complications is impaction, which is when teeth become lodged in the gums or bone and are unable to completely move into place. Impaction occurs largely because wisdom teeth often grow in at a different angle than the rest of the teeth in the jawline. In addition, the space available for the wisdom teeth to erupt is so small that there often isn’t enough room for them to fit comfortably.
When the wisdom teeth become impacted, they must be removed, or oral health problems can develop and become bothersome. Partially emerged molars create spots where bacteria and plaque are trapped and difficult to remove, leading to decay and risk for gum disease. Impaction also creates jaw and tooth pain. Without removing the impacted wisdom teeth in a timely manner, a patient can experience uncomfortable and distracting oral health issues.
Partial and Full Impaction of Third Molars
There are several ways wisdom teeth can become impacted. The most common type is a mesial impaction, where the tooth is positioned at an angle directly facing second molars; its trajectory makes it impossible to fully emerge. Horizontal impaction occurs when the wisdom teeth grow in completely sideways, while a vertical impaction occurs when the wisdom teeth grows in properly, but there isn’t enough space to emerge in a patient’s current alignment.
While the above are the most common instances of trapped third molars, there are several other less common ways wisdom teeth can become impacted. Distal impaction occurs when the teeth grow toward the back of the mouth – the opposite of a mesial impaction. Soft tissue impaction and bony impaction take place when the wisdom tooth starts to grow into the gum line, then eventually through the gum line, where a portion of the tooth can actually be seen.
Ask our Team about Wisdom Teeth Removal
At Lorton-Springfield Dental Implant & Oral Surgery, our dedicated professionals want to help you understand the benefits of having wisdom teeth extracted, especially in the case of impaction and pain caused by eruption of third molars. If you live in the Springfield or Lorton area, we have offices in each location. Give us a call today for a consultation!