Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is one of the sleep disorders treated by a sleep dentist. This condition causes the patient to stop breathing periodically during the night due to physical inhibitions in the air passages. To diagnose the condition, the sleep dentist will evaluate the signs and symptoms and conduct tests and examinations. This article…
The New Plan for Wisdom Teeth
Did you know that wisdom teeth used to play an important role in your survival? Even a couple hundred years ago, your wisdom teeth could have meant the difference between being able to chew food or not. This is not because the other molars did not come in but because we did not have an educated or advanced way to care for teeth. This led to more cavities, infections, and tooth loss. Having a third set of molars come in much later than the others provided chewing teeth when they were probably in high demand.
The future looks slightly different. Some scientists believe that in the future, no one will be born with wisdom teeth. Using the principles of evolution, our bodies will no longer create them because we have no need for a third set of molars since we are able to retain most of our teeth throughout our lifetime.
Where does that leave us today?
If wisdom teeth were completely necessary in the past, they may be entirely unnecessary in our future, today becomes a unique situation. Having wisdom teeth is something that can make no impact on your health and comfort level, or it can cause you significant challenges. Which scenario you will face is uncertain. However, there are some clear risks involved with keeping your wisdom teeth if they grow in impacted or sideways.
Many people deal with impacted wisdom teeth that do not grow in like they should. As a result, spaces are created between wisdom teeth and the adjacent molar that become ground zero for trapped food, plaque, and subsequent decay. The resulting cavities and infections can be incredibly uncomfortable to say the least. If you are constantly getting food stuck in the areas near your third molars, this is a sign that you should visit our office to discuss extracting them.
Another reason to have these teeth removed is if you have had braces or will be getting them. When your wisdom teeth do grow in, they can cause your other teeth to be pushed forward. After wearing braces for a couple of years and working hard to improve your smile, something as simple as an extra set of molars can reduce some of that work.
How are they removed?
If you do need to have your wisdom teeth extracted, there are two main ways of doing so. If they grow in fairly straight but need to be removed for orthodontic purposes, we can numb the area and pull them out just like we would any other tooth. If, however, they are impacted or still below the gums, we will need to surgically extract them. This is done by creating a flap in the gum tissue, pulling it back, and cutting away any tissue or bone holding the tooth in place. Next, we will begin to wiggle the tooth to see if we can extract it. If not, we will need to break it up into smaller pieces in order to do so. Next, we will clean the area and secure the flap. All this will be done under anesthesia so you remain comfortable.