Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom TeethWisdom teeth, or the third and final set of molars, are the last set of teeth to develop and appear in a human mouth. These third molars are known as “wisdom teeth” because a person generally gets them in his/her late teens or early twenties, and this particular age is known to be the “age of wisdom.” If wisdom teeth are properly aligned and healthy, they can be a valuable asset, but, unfortunately, they are often misaligned and require removal.

Wisdom teeth can pose many potential problems when they are misaligned – they may take a horizontal position, be angled away or towards the second molars or be angled outward or inward. If wisdom teeth align themselves poorly, they can cause damage to adjacent teeth, nerves, or the jawbone. If wisdom teeth end up leaning towards the second molars, then the second molars have more vulnerability to decay as they entrap more debris and plaque.

In addition, wisdom teeth can also remain totally entrapped within the soft tissue or/and the jawbone or, in some cases, they only erupt partially through the gum. The term “impacted” is used for teeth that stay completely or partially entrapped within the soft tissue or/and the jawbone. Partially erupted wisdom teeth makes a place for bacteria to penetrate around the tooth and cause it to get infected. The result is pain, jaw stiffness, general illness, and swelling. Gum diseases and tooth decay are also more frequently seen in the teeth which are partially erupted; the reason is their awkward positioning, which makes flossing and brushing more difficult.

Determining If You Have Wisdom Teeth.

Wisdom TeethA thorough dental exam and series of X-rays are required to determine if you have wisdom teeth.

At Cornerstone Dental, we may recommend you get your wisdom teeth extracted, before these problems can develop. This would save you from a more complicated or painful extraction at a later date. It is easier to extract them at a young age as the roots of wisdom teeth are not fully developed, and the bone is less dense. In maturity, the healing and recovery time tends to be longer.


What is the Process to Remove the Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom TeethThe position of wisdom teeth determines how easy the extraction process will be. The professional dental team at Cornerstone Dental, will provide guidance on what can you expect during the pre-extraction exam. If the wisdom tooth is fully erupted, it is as easy to extract as any other tooth. However,to remove a wisdom tooth which is wholly or partially beneath the gums and is embedded in your jawbone, we would have to make an incision into the gums and then remove the portion of bone which is lying over the tooth. In such a situation, we often extract the tooth in small sections instead of removing one piece. This is done to reduce the amount of bone that has to be removed in order to get the tooth out.