Wisdom Tooth Extraction Prevents Many Complications!

“But it’s not hurting me now!” you might say. And you’re right. But did you know that extracting an unerupted (or semi-erupted) wisdom tooth is often not only advisable, but also recommended, especially in young patients.

First of all, what is an unerupted wisdom tooth? Unerupted refers to a tooth that sits either completely under the gums/bone, or that is only partially visible, with a portion hidden under the gums/bone (semi-erupted). The following is a summary of situations when the extraction of asymptomatic, unerupted or semi-erupted wisdom teeth is indicated:

  • Most of us have difficulty brushing our teeth and using dental floss adequately in the back of our mouth. Usually, our semi-erupted “third molars” are difficult to clean because of their hard-to-reach location, their inclination and their specific coronal morphology (deep furrows). Therefore, they become much more vulnerable than other teeth to decay and gum disease (i.e.: periodontitis). Cavities mean fillings, and if the cavity is already advanced, you are at risk that the damaged tooth may need to be extracted, a procedure that is much more extensive than for a cavity-free tooth.
  • The operculum is the part of the gum that covers the tooth. Bacteria can become lodged beneath this area. As a result, the gum becomes more vulnerable to inflammation, which can lead to intense pain, restricted opening of the mouth and, sometimes, halitosis (bad breath). If the situation remains untreated, it will evolve into an infection or even cellulitis, pain accompanied by a fever.
  • When they are unerupted on the jawbone, wisdom teeth usually lack space to take their proper position on the dental arch, which cause poor alignment. This could potentially interfere with the roots of adjacent teeth because of the constant pressure exerted on them, causing partial root resorption and thereby increasing the risk of tooth loss.
  • Sometimes, keeping a wisdom tooth can aggravate the periodontal swelling already present around an adjacent tooth and thus complicate gum treatments or even hasten tooth loss.
  • Inevitably, the jawbone grows harder (becomes less elastic) as people age. As a result, performing an extraction at 18 or 20 years of age entails fewer complications than at 30 or 40 years of age. Furthermore, healing is faster because the immune system is stronger and medication is generally less likely required for younger persons.
  • Unerupted wisdom teeth are surrounded by a “follicle” sac. Over time, the follicle can grow and transform into a larger cyst sac, sometimes resulting in the formation of a benign tumour. When this happens, surgery is recommended, especially since the cyst could potentially become malignant or cancerous in some cases.

Generally speaking, all of these complications could be avoided by having unerupted wisdom teeth extracted, provided there are no contraindications, of course. Dr. Saba can confirm whether this solution is appropriate for you to help you make a more informed decision about the procedure.

Dr. Saba has a reputation for gentleness and dexterity. He will also do everything in his power to ensure you are comfortable throughout the surgery, from start to finish.

For more information, please speak with Dr. Saba or a member of his clinic.

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