Patients who require wisdom teeth extractions can seek treatment with Houston, TX area dentist
Wisdom teeth, known as third molars, are commonly problematic for teenagers and adults. This is because these are the last teeth to erupt through the gum line. Many patients have extractions performed, as this is a typical treatment option for patients to consider. Dr. Monti Harpalani in Houston, TX sees patients all the time dealing with problems associated with their wisdom teeth. Extractions are common for these third molars, as they are not “necessary” to have in place and can often contribute to problems such as impaction, cavities, and periodontal disease.
What are the wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth often develop around the late teen years or early adulthood. However, because they are the very last adult teeth to erupt, they often don’t have the space to do so. Dr. Monti Harpalani sees many patients who have impacted teeth due to lack of space for the wisdom teeth to come through. Also, they may pose a problem once they erupt in the back of the mouth. Wisdom teeth are particularly known for being difficult to brush and floss because of their location. This makes them more susceptible to future problems such as periodontal disease or tooth decay. As a preventative measure, some patients choose to have their wisdom teeth removed even after they’ve erupted through the gum line to maintain their oral health and wellness.
How are wisdom teeth removed?
There are two types of extraction used for removing wisdom teeth:
- Simple extraction
- Surgical extraction
Simple extraction is performed when the tooth is already above the gum line. This is an exposed tooth, which the dentist can handle with a specialized instrument that wedges the tooth out of the jawbone to remove it. However, if the tooth is impacted or has not erupted through the gum line yet, surgical treatment is required. This is called surgical extraction and requires the dentist to access the tooth by cutting into the gums and reaching the tooth inside the jawbone. This type of surgery is more invasive but is necessary when the teeth have become impacted. Both are done with proper sedation and anesthetics to ensure patients are comfortable before and during their appointment.
Which treatment is right for me?
This depends on whether the tooth is visible. A tooth underneath the gum line will require surgical extraction. Healing after this treatment takes longer than healing with simple extraction, primarily because the gum tissue needs to heal after being sutured. Patients will want to consult with their dentist and undergo an initial consultation appointment to find out if their wisdom tooth is accessible. This can be determined with a physical evaluation as well as x-rays.
Who is a candidate for wisdom teeth extraction?
Some patients choose to be proactive and have their wisdom teeth removed before they become a problem. This is common for patients who have had dental work done such as orthodontia. Wisdom teeth may become problematic for these patients if they erupt through the gum line, as it can result in the rest of the teeth shifting out of place. Some want to avoid problems later and choose to have their wisdom teeth removed as part of an elective procedure. The choice is entirely up to the patient and their specific needs. All patients are candidates for having their wisdom teeth removed if they choose to do so in a more proactive manner. However, others decide to wait to see if their third molars become problematic before opting to have the procedures performed. This is a personal decision for the patient to make.
Interested in finding out more about wisdom tooth extractions?
Contact Dr. Monti Harpalani, dentist in Houston, TX, to learn more about the benefits of removing wisdom teeth to improve oral health and wellness. Our professionals can walk patients through the process at the office of Vivid Dental Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. Patients can book an appointment by calling (281) 809 4902 and visit the office at 11560 FM 1960 West, Suite #200.