Wisdom teeth refer to the four back molars that generally appear in people between the ages of 17 and 25. Most often, adults will have four wisdom teeth, but in some cases adults may have fewer than 4 or more than 4. Wisdom teeth will often negatively affect other teeth as they develop. They may come in sideways, which is referred to as an impacted tooth. An extraction of the impacted wisdom tooth is recommended in this case.
It is quite common for the wisdom teeth to become ‚??impacted‚?Ě or to not grow in properly. This means that the tooth or teeth have been prevented from growing in and reaching its normal position. It could be obstructed from other molars or from other tissues. Teeth that become impacted may also cause problems with the person‚??s ability to chew, they can cause periodontal problems, or may cause damage to other teeth. A partially impacted tooth refers to a tooth that has broken through the gums but is still impeded on its normal growth pattern. A dentist will be able to determine which teeth are not growing or will not grow properly.
As wisdom teeth become impacted, they may begin to cause pain and can develop into cavities, infections, or periodontal disease. Typically, it is only after one of these problems arise that people will realize that they require a wisdom tooth extraction.
It is not that uncommon for dentists to treat older patients for wisdom teeth extractions as impacted teeth may not become symptomatic until patients reach their 30s, 40s, and 50s. There is no real age limit for receiving a wisdom tooth extraction, however, the older the patient the more difficult the surgery is. Also, recovery from surgery takes longer and there are more potential complications from the procedure.
Don‚??t wait, if your dentist recommends surgery to remove your wisdom teeth. Dentists will often find cavities in the patient‚??s wisdom tooth in addition to their adjacent teeth, which ultimately will have to be pulled as well. If patients keep putting off a wisdom tooth extraction, they may end up losing 8 molars instead of 4.
If a wisdom tooth extraction becomes inevitable, it is best to schedule the surgery for a time that suits you best, rather than having an emergency extraction that pops up at an inopportune time in your life.
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