Most of us have special white pearls of wisdom. They are known as wisdom teeth! Wisdom teeth are positioned in the posterior of each quadrant of the mouth. They typically start making their appearance around the ages of 17-21. Many adults have missing wisdom teeth or wisdom teeth that are so impacted, that these molars never quite push through gum tissue. Do you need to remove your wisdom teeth?
Each individual is different when it comes to the conditions around their wisdom teeth. The position, angulation, surrounding gum tissue, and health of the teeth themselves help answer this important question. The health of the patient is also a factor. A healthy teenager with swollen and painful gums may benefit from having their wisdom teeth (third molars) removed while an elderly patient that chews quite effectively with their 3rd molars may be better retaining these teeth.
Wisdom teeth can be completely submerged in bone tissue (fully bony impaction) or covered by gum tissue (soft tissue impaction). They can tilt forward against the teeth in front of them or tilt backward. They can be tilted at a 45 degree angle or be completely straight in their position. The position of these pearls can make their removal easier or harder. But if the wisdom tooth is angled upright, it is less likely to cause problems to adjacent teeth.
The surrounding gum tissue may be normal in color or be reddened and bleed easily. Gums that bleed easily are inflamed and this is one indication that the wisdom tooth is not in a healthy position. Also if the wisdom tooth has a cavity that is extensive, then removing it could be beneficial and prevent pain and infection.
Radiographs known as panoramic images are taken to evaluate the position of wisdom teeth and the health of surrounding tissue. Panoramic images show if there are cysts present or if there is an infection. After the radiographs are reviewed with an in depth exam of gums and adjacent teeth, a determination can be made about keeping the 3rd molars or removing them.
If you or someone you know has questions about their wisdom teeth, give us a call at (817) 870 5099 to schedule a dental consultation. We would love to be your Fort Worth Dentist. And can provide a number of treatment options when it comes to maintaining a healthy mouth. We proudly serve patients from Arlington, Keller, and Fort Worth Area.