All You Need to Know About Wisdom Teeth!
Anthropologists in Glendale note that the rough diet of early humans resulted in the excessive wear of their teeth. Normal drifting of the teeth to compensate for this wear ensured that space was available for most wisdom teeth to erupt by adolescence.
The modern diet, which is much softer than that of our ancestors, and the popularity of orthodontic tooth straightening procedures produce a fuller dental arch, which quite commonly doesn't leave room for the wisdom teeth to erupt. This sets the stage for problems to develop when the final four molars enter the mouth.
The ABC of Wisdom Teeth
This simple yet highly informative video elucidates the definition of wisdom teeth and its most common issues. Brought to you by Karen Baghdasaryan D.D.S., a well-known dentist in Glendale, CA.
The ABC of Wisdom Teeth Part 2
This second video takes us even more into the different wisdom teeth prevention treatments, surgery considerations and guides us towards the achievement of a wholesome, healthy dental experience. Wisdom teeth 1 and 2 are part of a series by Karen Baghdasaryan D.D.S. from Glendale, CA.
What is an impacted tooth?
A tooth becomes impacted when there is a lack of space in the dental arch and its
growth and eruption are prevented by overlying gum, bone or another tooth. A tooth
may be partially impacted, which means a portion of it has broken through the gum
or is totally impacted and unable to break through the gum at all.
How serious is an impacted tooth?
Impacted and partially impacted teeth can be painful and lead to infection. They
may also crowd or damage adjacent teeth or roots. More serious problems may occur
if the sac surrounding the impacted tooth becomes filled with fluid and enlarges
to form a cyst. As the cyst grows, it may hollow out the jaw and permanently damage
adjacent teeth, the surrounding bone and nerves. Rarely, if a cyst is not treated,
a tumor may develop from its walls, and a more serious surgical procedure may be
required to remove it.
Despite the considerable concern regarding impacted third
molars, a recent study sponsored by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial
Surgeons and the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Foundation finds that third molar which has broken through the tissue and erupted into the mouth in a normal, upright
position may be as prone to disease as those third molars that remain impacted.
Must the tooth come out if it hasn't caused any problems yet?
Not all problems related to third molars are painful or visible. Damage can occur
without your being aware of it. As wisdom teeth grow, their roots become longer,
the teeth become more difficult to remove and complications become more likely.
Partly or fully impacted wisdom teeth are more likely to cause
problems as patients’ age. No one can predict when third molar complications will
occur, but when they do, the circumstances can be much more painful and the teeth harder to treat. It is estimated that about 85% of third molars will eventually
need to be removed.
When should I have my wisdom teeth removed?
Wisdom teeth are easier to remove when the patient is younger since their roots
are not completely formed, the surrounding bone is softer, and there is less chance
of damaging nearby nerves or other structures. Removal of wisdom teeth at a later
age becomes more complicated as the roots have fully developed (may involve the
nerve), and the jawbone is denser.
It isn't wise to wait until your wisdom teeth start to bother you. In general, earlier
removal of wisdom teeth results in a less complicated healing process. The AAOMS/OMSF
study and our Glendale dentist strongly recommend that wisdom teeth be removed
by the time the patient is a young adult in order to prevent future problems and
to ensure optimal healing. The researchers found that older patients may be at greater
risk for disease, including periodontitis, in the tissues surrounding the third
molars and adjacent teeth. Periodontal infections, such as those observed in this
study, may affect your general health.
What happens during surgery?
Before surgery, our Glendale dentist will discuss with you what to expect.
This is a good time to ask questions or express your concerns. It is of particular importance to let the doctor know about any illness you have and medications you
The relative ease with which a wisdom tooth may be removed depends on several conditions,
including the position of the tooth and root development. Partially or totally impacted
wisdom teeth may require a more involved surgical procedure.
Most wisdom tooth extractions are performed under local anesthesia, intravenous
sedation or general anesthesia. Our Glendale dentist will discuss the anesthetic
option that is right for you.
What happens after surgery?
Following surgery, you may experience some swelling and mild discomfort, which are
part of the normal healing process. Cold compresses may help decrease the swelling,
and medication prescribed by our Glendale dentist can help manage the discomfort.
You may be instructed to modify your diet following surgery and later progress to more regular foods.
At our Glendale dentistry, we have all the necessary means and the best
technology to perform state-of-the-art dental surgeries. Our comprehensive and vivid
patient education materials will help you make the best decisions about your oral
health. For more and in-depth discussion about wisdom teeth extractions, you can
contact our Glendale office and schedule a consultation.
Read the original article at AAOMS.com
American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
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