Wisdom Teeth Removal
Function of Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars and they grow in last, usually between ages 15 and 25. When wisdom teeth do not come in properly, they can cause serious problems, including infection, pain, and damage to adjacent teeth. Even when wisdom teeth do come in properly, they serve absolutely no function with chewing, as food is never placed that far back in the mouth. Studies have shown that 90% of chewing function occurs in the first molar and premolar region; the remaining 10% of chewing occurs with the second molars. While wisdom teeth (also known as third molars) serve no purpose, they also tend to get cavities more often because they tend to be more difficult to brush, floss, and clean, given their far back position in the mouth. Even though we do not chew with wisdom teeth, sauces and drinks still come into contact with them so they are still susceptible to cavities.
Treatment Options for Wisdom Teeth
When patients develop cavities on wisdom teeth, Drs. Jason and Nelson like to give them the option of either removing or placing fillings on them. All fillings (and dental restorations, for that matter) will break down over time given the heavy forces exerted with chewing, grinding, and clenching; when the filling does fail, a new cavity will form around the defective filling and the tooth will require a new filling. What this means is once a filling is placed, one should expect it to require replacement multiple times within his/her lifetime, especially on wisdom teeth that tend to be more susceptible to cavities. When recommending treatment for wisdom teeth, age is given heavy consideration. Younger patients tend to heal better and more quickly than older patients, so extraction may not be the best option for a more elderly patient if a conservative filling can be done.
We all hate a toothache, and it is especially heartrending to watch a teenager suffer from toothache pain. Having wisdom teeth removed before they grow in could be the most conservative treatment option for your teenager to avoid future problems and the emergency of a severe toothache.
Drs. Jason and Nelson Hui remove wisdom teeth in their office so your family can receive all your dental treatment in one place. At Paragon Dentistry, we also have sedation options to help make all visits with us comfortable.