Wisdom teeth generally develop between the ages of 16 and 26 and are referred to as ‘third molars’ by many family dentists. Surprisingly, about 30 percent of the population will not have wisdom teeth. Those who do develop wisdom teeth may face related complications. Generally, people develop four third molars, one in each of the corner of their mouth. If all the ‘third molars’ develop alongside other teeth, they can prove to be an asset to the mouth. However, in most of the cases, these teeth need to be extracted to avoid any problems.

Impaction of the Wisdom Teeth

Impaction is a term used to discuss teeth that fail to emerge in their expected position. Most wisdom teeth fall into this category because there is insufficient space in the jaw to accommodate them. There are various types of impacted wisdom teeth that we see, and each has their own unique set of problems. Impaction can be either vertical, distal, mesial or horizontal. A vertical impaction occurs when a tooth grows upright. A distal impaction may occur when a tooth grows close to a forty-five-degree angle, in the opposite direction of other teeth. A mesial impaction the opposite of a distal impaction where a tooth grows towards the others. In horizontal impaction, wisdom teeth grow sideways at ninety degrees in the direction of other teeth.

Should You Remove your Wisdom Teeth?

Besides impaction, various other problems can occur if these teeth are left in your mouth. Though the removal of wisdom teeth may not be necessary in every case, our family dentists are the best people to advise you after examining your teeth. Sometimes, infections may occur due to the presence of bacteria, which is impossible to clean because the tooth is only partially erupted from your gums. In other cases, your wisdom teeth may be prone to decay due to their position which makes them difficult to clean. Any built-up plaque on your wisdom teeth can turn into decay if left alone. This can be a problem with wisdom teeth, as a dental filling may not solve this problem like it would with other teeth. Some other problems caused by wisdom teeth include damage to neighboring teeth, tumors, and cysts in the mouth. Acute and chronic pain is another reason for the removal of wisdom teeth. Many people experience continuous pain when the wisdom teeth begin to erupt, which is the biggest reason why you may need to make an appointment with our Fort Collins dental clinic in the first place.

Evaluation of Your Wisdom Teeth

Before the removal of your wisdom teeth, and before any recommendations, a dentist will take x-rays to confirm that they will need to be removed to mitigate suffering. With the help of a digital x-ray, our family dentists can see the kind of impaction they may be dealing with, and the potential for your wisdom teeth to cause problems with your surrounding teeth later.

Extraction of Wisdom Tooth

If you need impacted wisdom teeth extraction at the recommendation of our dentists, the surgical extraction process involves the application of general anesthetic before the extraction of the tooth. Once the tooth extraction process is over, you will have to follow some basic follow-up care for preventing any further problems. To control bleeding after the wisdom tooth extraction, you can even chew a tea bag or gauze. Swelling, if any, will subside within a few days. Your family dentist will remove any stitches (if they are not self-dissolving) during your postoperative appointment. Our Northern Colorado dentists at Shore’s Family Dentistry will be more than happy to answer all of your wisdom teeth questions when you visit us. Get in touch with Shores Family Dentistry today for more information!

Horizontal Impaction is a severe condition that always requires extraction.

Vertical Impaction. In time, vertically impacted teeth may erupt. However, in many cases, the process is painful and can damage and crowd adjacent teeth.

Mesial Impaction is the most common condition requiring extraction.

Distal Impaction. The term “distal” simply means that the wisdom tooth is angled back, towards the rear of the mouth.