Why do wisdom teeth need to be removed?
Most people do not have enough room in their mouth to accommodate wisdom teeth — the jaw simply isn’t large enough. As a result, wisdom teeth tend to cause oral health problems, such as infection, dental crowding, and other issues. Early removal of wisdom teeth can safeguard your mouth against these impending problems.
Does everyone need to have wisdom teeth removed?
While the majority of people will need their wisdom teeth removed, not everyone will. When there is enough room for the wisdom teeth to grow in straight without causing damage to surrounding tissues or structures, they may not need removal. The only way to know whether your wisdom teeth are growing in properly is through an oral examination and X-ray evaluation by an oral surgeon.
If wisdom teeth usually cause problems, why do we have them in the first place?
Our ancestors once required this third set of molars to chew tougher foods. Modern cooking techniques have changed our diet and our oral health needs and, over time, we have slowly developed a smaller jaw. Today, there usually isn’t enough space in a person’s jaw for four extra molars to grow in without crowding other teeth or causing damage.
What are the symptoms of wisdom teeth growth?
Many patients don’t know that they have wisdom teeth until their growth starts causing problems. Impacted wisdom teeth, or wisdom teeth that get stuck in the gums, don’t usually present any noticeable symptoms until more serious problems start to develop. Luckily, regular dental exams throughout adolescence and early adulthood will allow your dentist to track the progress of your wisdom teeth and prevent problems from developing. If you notice any of the following symptoms, you may have impacted wisdom teeth:
- Red, swollen gums
- Pain behind the existing molars
- Crowding of the lower front teeth
- An unpleasant taste or smell in the back of your mouth
If you experience any of these symptoms, we encourage you to contact a dental professional immediately — you will likely be referred to an oral surgeon to have your wisdom teeth removed.
Does insurance cover wisdom teeth removal?
Wisdom teeth removal is one of the most common oral surgery procedures. When wisdom teeth become impacted or cause problems, sometimes medical insurance will cover the treatment. In other cases, dental insurance may cover a portion of the procedure. When you visit us for your initial consultation, bring all your medical and dental insurance information. Our staff is happy to work with your insurance company and provide you with all the necessary billing information for your treatment. After your consultation appointment, we will be able to provide you with a full estimate of the costs of your procedure.
Can I undergo wisdom teeth removal under anesthesia?
Many patients choose IV sedation when undergoing wisdom teeth extraction. With IV sedation, patients rest comfortably during the procedure and sometimes wake up thinking that the procedure hasn’t even started. Removing one or two teeth might only require local anesthesia, which numbs the area but allows the patient to remain awake and aware, but removing four wisdom teeth, especially when there are complications like impaction, can be a longer, more involved procedure. During your initial consultation, we will review all your anesthesia options and help you select the best solution for your treatment. Your personal preferences and medical history will often dictate the option that is best for you. Dr. Gregory McGee and Dr. Drew Steel maintain the highest level of licensure available to dental professionals to administer in-office anesthesia and safely monitor their patients during surgery.
Where can I have my wisdom teeth removed in Albuquerque, NM?
If you or your child needs to have wisdom teeth removed, give us a call at Rio Grande Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center. Drs. McGee and Steel have years of experience extracting wisdom teeth and enjoy treating patients of all ages. For more information, contact our office, and one of our staff members will be happy to help you.