What Should You Do About Your Wisdom Teeth?January 10, 2017
Most of the time, dentists want their patients to keep as many teeth as possible. This is why we offer restorative dentistry such as dental fillings, crowns, and root canals to help preserve as much and as many of your healthy teeth as possible.
Nevertheless, you may find yourself in a situation when removing a tooth is actually the healthiest thing for you. Many times, wisdom teeth removal is the best option for your long-term oral health.
We welcome you to visit our dentist office in Chicago if you or someone in your family needs their wisdom teeth removed. At Northalsted Dental Spa, we are happy to provide this service when needed for our patients.
The Troubles With Wisdom Teeth
While most of your permanent teeth erupt by the time you are 12 or 13 years old, wisdom teeth usually erupt between the ages of 17 and 21. (Some people will get them earlier or little later, however.)
Wisdom teeth are your third set of molars, and they erupt in the back of your mouth.
The problem is that most people’s jaws are not large enough to fit another set of molars. If your wisdom teeth can’t come in correctly, they become impacted.
Teeth can be fully impacted (which means they remain below the surface of your gums) or partially impacted (which means they break the surface but don’t erupt completely).
This can lead to one or more problems:
- Impacted teeth can trap food, which can make it easier for bacteria to grow.
- Impacted teeth can make it difficult to floss correctly.
- Impacted teeth can increase your risk for gum disease and tooth decay.
- Impacted teeth can lead to infections that cause pain or swelling in or around your jaw.
- Impacted teeth may push into neighboring teeth.
This can alter the alignment of your smile, damage roots of other teeth, or damage the bone that holds your teeth in place.
Removing some or all of your wisdom teeth can help you avoid these complications. A great way to know if teeth extraction is needed is by making regular visits to Northalsted Dental Spa. We take X-rays as a part of your routine dental exams.
Dr. Griffin will monitor changes to your teeth and keep an eye on your wisdom teeth as they develop. Many times, we can identify problematic teeth before you experience the potentially serious consequences.
Call 773-245-2779 to make an appointment with our dentist today if you live or work in the Chicago area.
Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?
The reason we have wisdom teeth aren’t entirely clear to scientists. They do know that modern humans are different than our ancestors in a way that does affect our wisdom teeth, however.
Modern humans (like you and us) generally have smaller jaws than our ancient ancestors. This is why most of us don’t have room to fit a third set of molars in our mouths.
Today, wisdom teeth are considered a vestigial body part, much like the appendix. They are there, but we usually don’t hear about them unless they need to be removed.
Some scientists hypothesize that our wisdom teeth were more valuable when humans ate a rougher, more natural diet. A third set of molar created a larger surface area to grind that food into digestible pieces.
If you are one of the lucky ones whose wisdom teeth don’t cause any problems, then you should leave them where they are. However, experts estimate that 75 to 80 percent of people will need their wisdom teeth removed.
Our team at Northalsted Dental Spa wants your mouth to be as healthy as it can be. We can help you determine if you are OK keeping your wisdom teeth or if removing them would be better for your overall oral health.
Comfortable Wisdom Teeth Removable
You can rest assured that your comfort will be a priority if your wisdom teeth are removed at our Chicago dentist office.
We will explain the procedure and how to care for your mouth as you heal. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have before or after your extraction.
In some more complex cases, we may refer you to a trusted specialist. No matter what, we want your wisdom teeth removal to be done as safely as possible whether we do it ourselves or refer you to someone else.
To find out if your wisdom teeth should be removed, make an appointment Northalsted Dental Spa by filling out our online form or by calling 773-245-2779.