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  Impacted Wisdom Teeth  
 

Wisdom teeth got their name because they usually appear during a person’s “age of wisdom,” which is during the late teens or early twenties although in some cases they appear earlier or in later years, or maybe not appear at all. Wisdom teeth usually emerge from the gums between the ages 16-24.

Wisdom teeth or the third molars are the big grinding teeth at the back of the oral cavity and are the last of the molar teeth. Other people have up to four wisdom teeth, one in every corner of the oral cavity, upper right, upper left, lower right and lower left while some people never develop wisdom teeth at all.

Impacted wisdom teeth

Impacted is the term used when a wisdom tooth is blocked from developing or coming into the mouth normally. When there is no room in the dental arc and the eruption is prevented by the gum, bone, another tooth or all three, the wisdom tooth becomes impacted.

One major reason of wisdom tooth impaction is the insufficient jawbone room behind the person’s second molar for the new tooth. It is thought that the coarse character of Stone Age man’s diet resulted to producing extensive tooth wear, not only on the chewing surface but the sides of the teeth where adjacent teeth lean next to each other. The net effect of the wear reduced the combined length of the teeth as a set; as a result enough jawbone space is created to have a room for the wisdom teeth as it erupts. In contrast, the very sophisticated diet of modern man does not often cause an important value of this tooth wear type.

A tooth is partially impacted when it develops in crooked and not completely breaks through the gum. In some cases it remains totally impacted when it fails to break through at all. Oftentimes, the jaws are not big enough to accommodate all the four wisdom teeth.

Types of impacted wisdom tooth conditions

Dentists are using precise terms in describing the positions of the wisdom teeth. Wisdom tooth that is impacted mesially is a common type of impacted wisdom tooth. If the wisdom tooth is sloping forward and toward the front of the mouth it is termed “mesial”.

Aside from that, the mesially, vertically, horizontally, and distally impacted wisdom teeth can also be into soft tissue or bony impactions. If the wisdom tooth is fully enclosed in the jaw bone, it is a bony impaction. If the upper portion of a wisdom tooth, which has break through the bone but not erupted fully through the gums is termed as soft tissue impaction.

Problems with impacted teeth

Many complications may occur with the eruption of wisdom teeth showing some or no symptoms, so you may not be unaware of the harm it has done. It is necessary to be aware that as the wisdom teeth develop their roots grow longer and the jawbone denser. Hence, the older a person gets the more tricky it is to extract wisdom teeth and complications can be more acute. Furthermore, as a person ages the chance of the symptoms showing up is greater. Because of this, the dental surgeon may suggest the extraction of wisdom teeth even if they are not yet resulting to obvious problems, mostly for young adults.

It is harder to remove impacted wisdom teeth because they’re usually growing at an awkward angle. For older individuals partly or fully impacted wisdom teeth are more possible to cause serious complications.

This states why the wisdom teeth are causing more problems than any other teeth in the oral cavity. Due to lack of accommodation in the mouth at least one wisdom tooth remains beneath the gums for most people. Impacted wisdom teeth may be the reason for pain, inflammation, infection or damage to the teeth adjacent to them. The jaw may also be stiff and sore once the gum surrounding the wisdom tooth is swollen.

Surgical removal of impacted teeth

Whether or not these teeth need to be removed is still a big argument. It is usually recommended that teeth that remain fully buried or un-erupted in a usual position are not likely to cause damage. On the other hand, if these impacted teeth are in abnormal position (can be determined by an x-ray examination) or are perceived to potentially cause further damage, then surgery may be required.

The removal of wisdom teeth can be uncomplicated but also a tricky surgical process and should be done by dental experts with appropriate preparation and experience practicing such extractions.

After a careful assessment is done (usually includes x-rays) your dentist must explain the exact reasons why your wisdom teeth need to be removed.

Extraction of impacted teeth

The dentist should first have access to the wisdom tooth before extraction. The type of surgery in terms of ease and difficulty in extraction of the impacted tooth will be determined by the pattern of development and the tooth’s position on the patient’s jawbone.

Generally, removal will be and the succeeding treatment period will be shorter and easier if the tooth is normally aligned and it has erupted further through the gums. The dentist needs to make an opening in the gums and them remove the part of the bone that lies over the tooth if it is still underneath the gums and is still fully encased in the bone.

The dentist needs to postpone the removal if there is an infection in a wisdom tooth, such as pericoronitis until the infection has gone. The infection will be treated with antibiotics and will go ahead with the removal; hence both removal and the succeeding healing process will go easily.

Another reason affecting the difficulty of wisdom tooth extraction is the tooth’s anatomy. Wisdom teeth are multi-rooted. Lower wisdom teeth normally have two roots while the upper wisdom teeth oftentimes have three. The tooth’s roots form a bit differently. Each wisdom tooth’s roots will be pretty different and divided in some cases. In others, the roots may have merged together or taken an irregular form while developing. These differences in anatomy will influence the degree of complexity associated with a particular wisdom tooth removal.

Appropriate age for extraction of wisdom teeth

Mostly, wisdom tooth removal can be done effectively and uneventfully regardless the age. Age factors that usually affect the choice for removal are:

It will be less likely for a patient to experience complications if the extraction is done at an early age. Research shows that a complication, linked with curing and the process itself that happens in association with the wisdom tooth removal ascends if the patient has passed their mid 20’s.

Another reason in relation to age is the development of the root structure, preferably should have grown to two thirds of its length. This should have developed by age 18 or so but may differ from person to person. Hence, the average age when the root formation is two thirds and the bone around the tooth is not very dense is 18-24. Removal is easier during this period. Furthermore, the curing and resiliency is faster in a younger patient.

Your dentist must explain to you what you may experience during the process and in the succeeding period where healing will take place during the pre-extraction examination.

 
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