Wisdom teeth are also known as third molars. They are the last teeth to erupt in the mouth usually in the late teens or early twenties. Occasionally wisdom teeth do not erupt into the mouth and remain in the jaw bone or just under the soft tissue of the gums. Either way, many problems can arise as they grow. Please call us today at our Salt Lake City/Murray office for more information or to set-up a consultation
An impacted tooth is unable to erupt when there is overlying gum, bone or another tooth, or simply from a lack of space.
When third molars remain impacted or malposed they often cause serious problems. They can be painful and cause infections, development of decay in adjacent teeth, or resorption of roots of adjacent teeth. Wisdom teeth also contribute to the development of periodontal disease and often make it difficult to clean adjacent teeth. They can also move other teeth out of correct position, possibly ruining orthodontic treatment.
More serious complications arise when the sac surrounding an impacted tooth fills with fluid and forms a cyst. The cyst can grow, destroy bone in the jaw, and damage adjacent teeth and nerves. In some cases, a tumor may develop and require a more serious surgery.
You are not able to see all problems with impacted wisdom teeth. Adverse effects may happen undetected causing future complications.
Even if a wisdom tooth has erupted and seems normal there are still concerns you should consider. A recent study sponsored by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Foundation gave evidence that third molars which have 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.
Because wisdom teeth often cause problems it is usually recommended to have them extracted as a young adult. This will promote optimal healing, and reduce complications seen in older individuals.
Research has shown that older patients may be at greater risks for disease and infections that often effect your overall health.
The position of the wisdom tooth will often dictate the ease at which the tooth is removed. If the wisdom tooth is impacted, or the roots are fully developed the surgery Utah Oral & Facial Surgeons would preform may be more involved. In our office, wisdom teeth may be removed under local anesthesia, with nitrous oxide, (“laughing gas”) and local anesthetic, with IV sedation or with general anesthesia. As you consult with Utah Oral & Facial Surgeons you will be able to decide which option is best for you.