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Doctor insights on: Do I Need To Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed

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Is there a difference between an impacted and infected wisdom tooth? I need to have my wisdom teeth removed and was told that they're impacted. Is that the same thing as being infected? .

Is there a difference between an impacted and infected wisdom tooth? I need to have my wisdom teeth removed and was told that they're impacted. Is that the same thing as being infected?


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An : An impacted tooth is one that has not fully erupted into the mouth and is, to some degree, still covered gum tissue and / or bone. A fully impacted tooth is completely covered by bone. An impacted tooth does not necessarily have to be infected, but it extremely common that partially impacted are subject to recurrent gum infections that are termed "pericoronitis". This is an indication for extraction. An impacted tooth does not necessarily have to be more difficult to extract than an erupted tooth for two reasons: 1. An impacted tooth may not have completed root formation. Besides having less tooth structure to remove, partially formed roots may not be curved at their tips and thus can be easier to remove. 2. When a tooth is fully erupted and in function, the bone around it consolidates (or hardens) in response to the function. This may make the tooth more difficult to remove. Impacted teeth may be more difficult to remove for the following reasons: 1. There is a significant amount of bone and / or soft tissue covering them making access more difficult. 2. Impacted teeth may be closely related to vital structures such as nerves and the sinuses making extraction more challenging. 3. Impacted teeth may be angled in ways that make it more difficult to extract them. Over the past 10 years specific research has been ongoing which is looking at the specific risks and benefits of removal of asymptomatic third molars (wisdom teeth). There is a "white paper" discussing the results of these studies located on the website of the american association of oral and maxillofacial surgeons (www.Aaoms.Org). There is also associated information that provides an excellent discussion of wisdom teeth and their management. Look under "conditions and treatment" on the right side for "wisdom teeth". Though asymptomatic now, third molars that have not fully erupted into the mouth in a functional and cleanable position can lead to long term problems such as gum disease that can spread to adjacent areas, decay of the third molar or adjacent teeth, recurrent infections (pericoronitis), cysts, tumors, and jaw fracture. It is better to prevent these problems by extraction of non-functional third molars as a late teenager than to have to under go the surgery when you are older and you are not as healthy. Also the surgery may be more difficult and recovery longer if done at a later age. Have your general dentist recommend a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon in your area that can examine you and provide an explanation of your options for both surgery and anesthesia. ...Read more

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Dr. Mark Ingerman
4 doctors shared insights

Wisdom Teeth (Definition)

Wisdom teeth are the last molars to "come in" to a person's mouth. They usually emerge when someone is 17 to 21 years old. Many wisdom teeth become impacted for lack of room in the mouth, and ...Read more


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Will i need to have my wisdom teeth removed before getting braces?

Will i need to have my wisdom teeth removed before getting braces?

Depends of treatment: If your wisdom teeth are indicated for removal, having them removed before getting braces may be easier for your recovery and for the surgeon. Gauze sponges have a way of getting hung on the orthodontic appliances. The recommendation for removal and timing for removal may be best determined by the orthodontist providing treatment for you, as well as the surgeon performing your surgery. ...Read more

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If I have my wisdom teeth removed, are there any risks?

If I have my wisdom teeth removed, are there any risks?

Yes, there are some: Every surgical procedure involves some degree of risk and possible complications. After a clinical and appropriate radiographic examination, your surgeon should discuss the pertinent risks associated with your surgery and anesthesia. ...Read more

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How long am i suppose to wait to have my wisdom teeth removed?

How long am i suppose to wait to have my wisdom teeth removed?

Depends: Please read the following blog article to determine why wisdom teeth should be removed. http://www.oralsurgicalarts.com/removal-of-wisdom-teeth-a-wise-move/ of course, you will need to discuss your options with your dentist or oral surgeon. You may not need to have your wisdom teeth removed. ...Read more

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Will my teeth become straighter if I have my wisdom teeth removed?

Will my teeth become straighter if I have my wisdom teeth removed?

Sorry, no: Teeth want to drift forward, not back. People with congenitally missing wisdom teeth may also have crooked front teeth. There are good and just reasons for removing problematic wisdom teeth, but doing so will not magically straighten the other teeth. Please consult with an oral surgeon and an orthodontist for more information. ...Read more

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What to do if i'm horrified to have my wisdom teeth removed next week! help me please ?

What to do if i'm horrified to have my wisdom teeth removed next week! help me please ?

Consider Sedation: Speaking regarding wisdom teeth removal, there is no doubt that today that it can be done very confortablely with excellent anesthesia and IV sedation that you wake up and everything is done without you remembering a thing. Premedication with anti infamatory and anti swelling perscriptions can make even your experience afterwards very comfortable. ...Read more

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Is it required to have my wisdom teeth removed? Heard things such as the risk of contracting any type of disease/nerve problems if you don't?

Is it required to have my wisdom teeth removed? Heard things such as the risk of contracting any type of disease/nerve problems if you don't?

Get them checked: It is not required--this is a free country and you can choose. Not removing wisdom teeth carries risks, but they range from minor (increased difficulty cleaning your teeth) to severe (destruction of adjacent teeth, or infections). Only your dentist can help you determine if it would be more beneficial to remove your wisdom teeth than to leave them in. Go see your dentist. ...Read more

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How long will I be numb for after I have my wisdom teeth removed?

How long will I be numb for after I have my wisdom teeth removed?

2 versions: If you are talking about the time you will be numb from the local anesthesia it generally lasts for a few hours. If you are talking about numbness due to trauma to the inferior alveolar and/or lingual nerve it's a different story. These parasthesia's can last from a few days up to 12-18 months. There are some cases where the numbness can be permanent. Discuss your specific situation with your dds. ...Read more

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What causes a dry socket after wisdom teeth? I'm going to have my wisdom teeth removed, and am worried about dry socket. What causes it? .

What causes a dry socket after wisdom teeth? I'm going to have my wisdom teeth removed, and am worried about dry socket. What causes it?


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Difficult extraction: Excessive trauma is thought to be the main cause. Very difficult impactions are best handled by an oral surgeon to maximize skill and minimize post op complications. However dry sockets do occur from time to time. ...Read more

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My oral surgeon said that my taking estradiol would create clots when I have my wisdom teeth removed?

My oral surgeon said that my taking estradiol would create  clots when I have my wisdom teeth removed?

Not really: Estrogen promotes platelet activity but only a little. And it's not a problem, we want you to stop bleeding when you have surgery! ...Read more

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Dr. John Landi
2 doctors shared insights

Tooth Extraction (Definition)

Tooth extraction means removing an entire tooth or teeth from the jawbone. ...Read more


Excise (Definition)

To surgically remove an organ or body part or tissue. This is done with ...Read more