Most people recognize wisdom teeth as the problematic molars that often have to be removed. Even if they seem fine for years at first, wisdom teeth can often cause trouble for the rest of your smile as time progresses. Most of that trouble is due to some level of impaction, which may or may not be obvious depending on the extent of it. At our Oxnard, CA, dental office, we often help patients overcome wisdom tooth impaction by carefully extracting the molars before they cause more damage. The problem is that, despite being impeded by existing teeth and jawbone structure, wisdom teeth don’t stop growing, which can make them an increasingly more serious threat.
What an impacted tooth means
An impacted wisdom tooth, or third molar, is one that can’t grow or erupt properly because its path is impeded by the already-erupted second molar. This prevents the wisdom tooth from erupting where it was meant to, though it doesn’t stop the tooth from trying anyway. Instead of erupting vertically, the tooth can be forced into a diagonal or horizontal position, forcing against the other tooth as it gets stuck within the surrounding jawbone structure. Besides interrupting the tooth’s development, this can also lead to intense, worsening pain and high risks of other chronic dental health issues.
How to resolve the problem
Unlike most other common dental health issues, there is typically no solution for correcting an impacted wisdom tooth. In fact, without your third molars, your bite has enough chewing power to function properly for life (with proper care and maintenance). Therefore, the most effective solution for an impacted wisdom tooth is to extract it. This may involve carefully exposing the entire tooth structure within the jawbone to remove it without damaging any nearby bone structure or oral tissues. If performed early enough, wisdom tooth extraction may help you avoid the need for more extensive procedures to address any resulting damage to your smile.
Should you extract them early?
Because of the problems that wisdom teeth often cause, many people choose to extract there’s as soon as they appear. This can help you avoid the discomfort that often heralds an impacted wisdom tooth, as well as eliminate the risks of subsequent damage to surrounding teeth and jawbone structure. Before recommending wisdom tooth extraction, we’ll perform a comprehensive examination using digital 3D imaging to accurately gauge the position and growth of your wisdom teeth. Then, we’ll consult with you to determine if extracting them is a good idea.
Learn how to deal with wisdom teeth
Even if your wisdom teeth become impacted, they won’t stop growing and trying to erupt from the gum line, which is why extracting them may be necessary. For more information, schedule a consultation by calling Oxnard Dentistry in Oxnard, CA, today at (805) 604-9999. We also proudly serve patients from in and around Camarillo, Ventura, Thousand Oaks, Moore Park, and all surrounding communities.