If you’ve been told you need to have a wisdom tooth extracted, you may wonder why it’s necessary. After all, you’d probably rather keep your natural teeth for as long as possible. While it’s true that you want to avoid unnecessary tooth extractions, having one or more wisdom teeth removed can deliver some important benefits.
Here, Keith Bram, DDS — also known as Doc Bram — gives you some context on wisdom teeth and explains why taking them out is often a better option than leaving them in. When needed, Doc Bram provides this common dental procedure at his office in Lisle, Illinois.
Wisdom teeth carry that nickname because they typically appear when you’re in your late teens or early adulthood — usually between ages 17 and 21, according to the American Dental Association. Presumably, this is when you become wise. The formal name for wisdom teeth is your third molars.
Ideally, this third set of molars grows in without any problems, and you use them for the rest of your life to chew your food. But for many people, wisdom teeth don’t grow in correctly.
Instead, the teeth can get stuck in your jaws under your gums, which is a condition known as impaction. This can occur because your mouth is too small for four more molars.
Even when wisdom teeth can emerge from your gums without becoming impacted, they may grow in at an odd angle that causes them to push against other teeth, leading to damage or issues with your other teeth.
When wisdom teeth — or any teeth, for that matter — become impacted, various kinds of dental problems can develop, including:
You can also experience nerve damage in your jaw, trouble opening your mouth, or tightness in your jaws.
Fortunately, most people can chew, eat, and live perfectly well without their wisdom teeth. That’s why, if you’re having trouble with one or more of your third molars, Doc Bram will recommend removal.
Depending on whether or how fully your wisdom tooth has emerged, he may be able to remove it using a simple extraction procedure. If your tooth is impacted, you may require dental surgery.
If you’ve never had a tooth extracted before, you may worry about having a wisdom tooth removed. But rest assured, Doc Bram has lots of experience with simple and surgical extractions. You can depend on him to remove your tooth with as little discomfort as possible.
Typically, after recuperating from wisdom tooth surgery, dental problems you had before your extraction clear up, either with further dental treatment or on their own. To make sure you feel as good as possible while you recuperate, Doc Bram gives you clear instructions to take care of yourself at home after the procedure.
It may be tempting to ignore wisdom tooth discomfort or dental symptoms caused by impaction. But it’s better for your dental health and your well-being not to postpone dental care.
To schedule a wisdom tooth evaluation or extraction, call Doc Bram at 630-963-9280 or request an appointment using our online booking tool.