It’s common practice in the US to have your wisdom teeth removed early to prevent any problems from occurring in the future. However, removing wisdom teeth by default like this is slowly becoming less common. So, which is the best option? Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of having your wisdom teeth removed rather than leaving them in.
Why remove wisdom teeth?
The main reason that new or healthy wisdom teeth are removed is because they can be prone to complications, and we don’t necessarily need them. A person’s mouth may not have enough space for these new teeth to move into, which can cause them to become impacted. As well as being painful, this can also affect the neighboring teeth, forcing them out of position and causing further problems. And in worse cases, infection can occur.
So, the main theory is that removing the teeth early is easier and ensures that the above complications can’t occur, and that it’s also easier at a younger age. Another potential problem with leaving the wisdom teeth in is that they can be hard to reach properly when brushing. This means they may not be cleaned properly, making plaque and tartar build-up more likely, leading to cavities and tooth decay over time.
Reasons to keep your wisdom teeth
All of the above motivations for removal revolve around problems that could potentially happen. So, the other side of the argument is that removal is unnecessary unless a problem actually occurs. Removing a tooth in itself comes with its own complications, so why risk those complications by removing a perfectly healthy tooth? You’re likely to feel some discomfort or even pain after the surgery (although this should only last a few days), and symptoms like numbness can persist. There’s also a small risk of infection that comes with removing the tooth, and the rare occurrence of complications caused by dental anesthesia.
When new wisdom teeth are growing in, your dentist can monitor their growth to judge whether impaction is likely to occur. They can then intervene early by removing the teeth if needed, or they can decide whether the teeth are healthy and can be left where they are.
Whether you need a dental procedure or a regular check-up, contact Advance Family Dentists to book an appointment with a family dentist in Advance, NC.