Dr. A. Scott Grivas and his Sacramento dentistry team are dedicated to offering conservative treatment to help patients maintain their optimal level of oral health and keep natural smiles for life. We rarely recommend that patients have teeth removed, but there are a number of situations in which extraction is unavoidable. The most frequently removed teeth are third molars, commonly referred to as wisdom teeth. If you experience pain, dental shifting, or other oral health concerns as a result of erupting wisdom teeth, contact your Sacramento dentist and team today.
What are Wisdom Teeth?
Third molars are the last sets of permanent teeth to erupt. A hold over from a time when lack of oral hygiene and course diets lead to early tooth loss, wisdom teeth typically erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. Today’s patient rarely has room in the mouth for this third set of molars, and in many cases, we recommend removal to maintain optimal oral health.
Why Should Wisdom Teeth be Removed?
There are a number of reasons we encourage patients to remove wisdom teeth. Some of the most common issues associated with third molar eruption include:
- Orthodontic issues – perhaps the most common reason for wisdom tooth removal, crowding that leads to motion of surrounding teeth necessitating orthodontic care or undoing past treatment
- Impaction – the inability of teeth to erupt fully or properly leading to pain, tooth decay, and gum disease
- Jawbone damage – cysts frequently develop around wisdom teeth and other impacted or crowded teeth leading to breakdown in bone density
- Sinus issues – infection and movement in teeth may lead to excessive pressure on the sinus causing pain, discomfort, and impeded breathing ability
What is the Process for Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
Wisdom teeth are removed one of two ways by “pulling” or surgical extraction. When wisdom teeth are able to fully erupt before the supportive, alveolar bone develops anchoring teeth to the jawbone, dentists grasp the biting surface of teeth with forceps and gently pull the tooth from its socket with minimal incisions or structural impact. Surgical extraction involves the removal of connective gum and bone tissue before extracting the tooth. Impacted wisdom teeth may require a more advanced surgical procedure to expose the tooth below the gum line and remove connective tissue before extracting the tooth.
Visit Dr. Grivas and his Sacramento Dental Team
We recommend that patients undergo a wisdom tooth evaluation by the age of 11. This examination allows Drs. Grivas and his team to see developing wisdom teeth, determine whether removal is recommended, and develop a wisdom tooth extraction or treatment plan.