Do my wisdom teeth need removal?

Smile Design dentists at locations throughout Tampa Bay and Central Florida perform third molar (wisdom tooth) extractions. Before making the recommendation to remove third molars, our dentists take digital x-rays and do a comprehensive oral exam to determine if there is need for removal. They then take into consideration the following:

  • Do you have room in your jaws for third molars, plus all the other teeth you need for chewing function and a beautiful natural smile? If not, crowding pushes other teeth out of alignment and creates a poor bite and crooked smile. Orthodontics to improve and maximize tooth alignment typically depends on third molar removal to make room in the jaw. This is the case regardless of whether a wisdom tooth has erupted or is impacted. Un-erupted wisdom teeth and erupted ones both can put pressure on the roots of adjacent second molars.
  • Are you in pain? The pressure of a wisdom tooth against the adjacent tooth’s roots and surrounding gum tissue is commonly painful.
  • Do you have gum inflammation in the areas surrounding one or more wisdom teeth? Because third molar tooth surfaces are more difficult to access at the back of the mouth, your daily brushing and flossing may not be adequate to prevent the development of chronic gum disease.
  • Is dental caries damaging your wisdom teeth and/or adjacent second molars? Third molars are more prone to developing cavities because they are more difficult to clean. Dental caries in the third molars easily progresses to adjacent second molars.

If these problems exist now, they are likely to impact your oral health throughout your life…unless wisdom teeth are removed. If you are in pain due to wisdom teeth erupting through the bone or putting pressure on second molar roots, dental caries in the teeth, or gum disease around the teeth, you will be made more comfortable by their removal.

If you are going to have orthodontic treatment and you have teeth crowding, wisdom tooth removal is usually recommended prior to orthodontics. If there is evidence that your wisdom teeth will likely cause problems in the future, you may decide now is a good time to have them removed.

For an initial exam, x-rays and consultation about your need for wisdom teeth removal, call today!