For most types of teeth, extraction isn’t a go-to choice for addressing their concerns. Once the tooth is extracted, it’s gone for good, and this can have a negative impact on every aspect of your oral health. However, when third molars (which are often referred to as wisdom teeth) become impacted, extracting them is typically the only real solution. Impacted wisdom teeth can lead to a wide range of problems with your oral health, including increasingly more severe discomfort and risks to your other teeth. Yet, that doesn’t always make it easy to know when it’s time to extract a wisdom tooth, or all of them, until the effects of their impaction become severe.
When a third molar becomes impacted
Wisdom tooth impaction describes a specific type of problem, but the specifics of it can differ from everyone. It occurs when a third molar doesn’t have the room it needs to fully and properly erupt from your gum line at the ends of your dental ridges. This can force the molar to butt up against the existing molar, or the jawbone structure of your dental ridge, and force its position and direction of growth to change. This can be a simple shift toward a diagonal path, or a complete turn into a horizontal position, depending on the severity.
When the discomfort becomes unbearable
When a third molar first becomes impacted within your dental ridge, the problem might not be obvious at first. A small portion of it may erupt, making you believe that the rest of it will follow without any problem. Or, none of it may erupt, and you remain unaware of its presence until the discomfort in your dental ridges becomes obvious. When this occurs, you should always take the discomfort seriously, as well as the potential risk of it being caused by an impacted third molar. The longer the problem persists without being addressed, the greater the damage the impacted tooth can cause to the bone structure in your dental ridge.
When the rest of your teeth suffer the consequences
Depending on the specifics of your wisdom tooth impaction, you might not notice pain in your dental ridge at first. However, you might notice that your other molars and teeth have begun to feel crowded or shift out alignment. The molars that are closest to the impacted wisdom teeth may also begin to exhibit damage to their structures due to the pressure of the impacted molar pushing against them. If this persists, then restoring your smile could require one or more restorative dental treatments after your impacted wisdom teeth are successfully extracted.
Find out if it’s time to extract your wisdom tooth
Wisdom teeth can become a serious problem when they become impacted, but you might not always recognize when it’s time to extract them. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Modern Smile in North Hollywood, CA, today at 818-763-9353. We also proudly serve patients who live in Burbank, Toluca Lake, and all surrounding communities.