Without a doubt, one of the most frequently asked dental-related questions is, “Should I have my wisdom teeth removed?” According the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, it is recommended that all patients seek the advice of a board-certified oral surgeon and undergo a comprehensive clinical and imaging examination to determine the most appropriate treatment for wisdom teeth. A complete exam will address the following:
- Are the wisdom teeth, or third molars, symptomatic? Is there pain or swelling associated with the teeth?
- Have the third molars erupted? Or, are they impacted?
- Is there evidence of disease?
- Does their position interfere with other teeth, nerves or sinuses?
In the presence of symptoms or disease, surgical removal is typically the prescribed treatment. For those patients with asymptomatic and disease-free third molars, patients are encouraged to follow the advice of their oral & maxillofacial surgeon. He/she will outline and explain the risks associated with retaining third molars which include the future possibility of developing pathology (disease) and interference with the alignment of other teeth. Surgeons will caution that is more difficult and precarious to remove wisdom teeth as a patient ages.
While no one can accurately predict how wisdom teeth may or may not progress, patients can feel confident in their surgeon’s experience and expertise to help them decide how to manage third molars. For more information about wisdom teeth management, watch this video produced by the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, or contact one of the board-certified oral surgeons at Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery to schedule a comprehensive consultation. Visit texasoralsurgery.com for more details.
Source: “Management of Third Molar Teeth.” American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons. 2016.