To keep or not to keep…that is the question surrounding many patients with wisdom teeth. The conventional thought is that wisdom teeth should be extracted sometime in the late-teens to early-20’s. This is when the wisdom teeth have started to emerge but have not yet completely formed, making them easier to extract. Many times, due to lack of space or improper angulation, this is also when they start causing pain.
However, for many patients wisdom teeth erupt and are well-aligned with enough space. So why are so many wisdom teeth still being extracted?
Dr. Izadi and Dr. Rafat agree with new guidelines issued by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons which state that healthy wisdom teeth need not be extracted simply because they are wisdom teeth. The latest guidelines also underscore the importance of preventative care – including routine cleanings, fluoride treatment, examinations and x-rays – in monitoring the health and viability of retained wisdom teeth.
Due to the position of the wisdom teeth in the back of each jaw, they can be difficult to reach for proper cleaning. This can lead to decay and periodontal (gum) disease. In some cases, the decay can be treated and the gums can be adjusted to maintain these wisdom teeth in proper health and function. In other cases, however, patients do benefit from wisdom teeth extraction. Some patients have painful impactions, decay, or gum issues that cannot be treated as long as the wisdom teeth is still present.
Dr. Izadi and Dr. Rafat customize each patient’s treatment plan to best fit his or her needs, including the decision of keeping or extracting wisdom teeth. If you have any questions regarding your wisdom teeth, do not hesitate to contact us.