While the wisdom teeth are (reportedly) called that because they “erupt” at a later stage in life, when the patient is (allegedly) much wiser than when other teeth erupted.
But with all of this talk about “wisdom” many patients wonder if the wisdom teeth need to be removed at all. For most dentists, including our dentists in Garden Grove – the advice is almost always “Yes”.
More often than not, dentists tend to agree that wisdom teeth should come out in order to prevent a number of other potential problems further down the road.
The biggest concern is typically the 2nd molars (the teeth before the wisdom teeth). It’s possible for there to be an increase in bone loss on the back side of your second molars. On top of this, it’s very common to get food stuck between the second molar and the adjacent wisdom tooth. This can easily lead to a cavity on either the wisdom tooth, the 2nd molar, or both — which is never good.
The wisdom teeth are also simply hard to reach. In almost every mouth, the molars are frequently the teeth that receive the most lackluster care simply because they’re tougher to reach. Your wisdom teeth are even harder to reach. So it isn’t unreasonable to expect a problem later in life.
Finally, and most importantly – the issue of “impacted” molars. Many times, patients learned of impacted molars many years ago but don’t get them removed. Unfortunately, while everyone is different, a common way for wisdom teeth to cause problems is when they become tipped forward and impacted. This forces them to contact with the back of the second molar in front of it, which can easily cause cavities on the innocent 2nd molar. The worst part is, if this requires both teeth to be removed, it can lead to poor support for the remaining unopposed teeth.
Ultimately, the smartest option is to minimize the number of problems that can happen in the future. Unfortunately, with wisdom teeth – chances are high that there could be an issue. For most dentists – the easiest option is to eliminate the chance, since the teeth aren’t needed for any practical purpose.