Wisdom teeth are the last adult teeth to grow in the rear of the mouth and can cause problems for some patients. This is because they have less room to come in than other molars. Wisdom teeth usually grow in between the ages of 17-25, which may be why they’re referred to as “wisdom” teeth since this is the age when young people traditionally leave home to “seek wisdom.” Dr. Thomas Prendergast provides tooth extractions, including wisdom tooth extractions to patients in the Fox Lake, IL area. Learn about wisdom teeth and whether you might need your wisdom teeth removed below.
Why Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Dr. Prendergast looks for specific indicators that a wisdom tooth removal is needed, including:
Pericoronitis: When wisdom teeth begin erupting from the gums, a flap of gum tissue can be leftover, which may trap food particles and oral bacteria. This can lead to an infection, called pericoronitis, which irritates the surrounding gums. This condition makes cleaning the area even more difficult to clean and can occur even when the wisdom teeth have not yet erupted.
They become impacted: When wisdom teeth are blocked by existing teeth and are unable to erupt, they are referred to as impacted. While some people may experience pain or discomfort when this happens, many others aren’t even aware they have impacted wisdom teeth until a dentist finds it on an x-ray.
Risk of future problems: If Dr. Prendergast dentist determines that, by allowing your wisdom teeth to remain, there is a risk of future problems, he may suggest extraction. The extraction process is easier on younger patients, so even if you haven’t experienced any problems yet, your dentist may recommend their removal to prevent a more difficult future procedure.
Contact Our Office
It is important to understand that not everyone will need their wisdom teeth removed. Sometimes these final molars come in without issue or can be managed without surgery. However, if you live in the Fox Lake, IL area and want to learn more about wisdom teeth removal you can schedule an appointment with Dr. Prendergast online or call (847) 447-6637.