The way your teeth are positioned can affect the way you breathe, chew, and speak. Wisdom teeth removal is a scary thought for many of our patients, but Acton, MA dentist Dr. Ratti Handa wants to help you understand this procedure. Dr. Handa is an airway dentist with a deep understanding of the complex relationship between your oral health, airway, and overall quality of life. Learn more about wisdom teeth removal and what to expect if you need them removed.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Your wisdom teeth are the last set of molars to erupt, which usually occurs in late adolescence or young adulthood, between the ages of 17 and 25. These teeth are actually called “third molars” because they are similar to the first two sets of molars that typically erupt in childhood or early adolescence. If you remember some slight discomfort when your second molars erupted, the process is the same for wisdom teeth, except there is even less room for teeth to shift to accommodate their new neighbors. This is often why people who don’t normally have dental anxiety feel anxious when they think about their wisdom teeth, even if they aren’t erupting yet.
Do I Need My Wisdom Teeth Pulled?
You may be surprised to learn that not everyone who has wisdom teeth will need them extracted. Dr. Handa looks for specific indicators that signal a possible need to remove wisdom teeth, such as:
- Impacted wisdom teeth: When the wisdom teeth are blocked by teeth and are unable to erupt, they are referred to as impacted. While some patients experience pain or discomfort when this happens, many others don’t realize they have impacted wisdom teeth until a dentist finds it on an X-ray.
- Pericoronitis: Gum tissue surrounding wisdom teeth can trap food particles and oral bacteria, causing an infection called pericoronitis. This can affect the surrounding gums and lead to swelling and discomfort, even in wisdom teeth that have not developed yet.
- Possible future problems: Dr. Handa will monitor your annual X-rays and predict whether your wisdom teeth are likely to cause problems in the future. If so, we may recommend wisdom teeth removal to prevent problems or to promote a more stable bite.
Dr. Handa sometimes recommends wisdom teeth extraction as part of a biorejuvenation treatment, which prioritizes relaxed muscles, stable joints, and stable teeth. She will meet with you to learn more about your situation and recommend the best solution for your oral health concerns. Wisdom teeth removal is only recommended when there is a direct benefit to your oral and overall health.
Wisdom Teeth Treatment in Acton, MA
Dr. Handa develops relationships based on trust with her patients, so you can be assured that the treatments recommended are right for you. Schedule an appointment with us online or call your Acton, MA dentist at 978.212.3783.