Not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth extracted, but it’s often recommended. In some people, they can cause serious complications if they are left in. We can usually predict when they are going to become a problem, which allows us to extract them before they’re fully developed, even, allowing for a less complicated and less painful procedure. At Denali Dental Care, we can handle simple or complex wisdom teeth extractions, and IV sedation allows us to make the procedure even more comfortable.
If you have been told that you need to have your wisdom teeth removed or want an evaluation in Anchorage, we can help. Please call (907) 274-7691 today for an appointment with a dentist at Denali Dental Care.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are technically described as third molars. They are the last teeth in your mouth to develop, coming in sometime between ages 17 and 25 for most people, although they may emerge later or not at all if there are problems with their development. Not everyone has wisdom teeth, and some people only have one.
Why Do They Need to Be Extracted?
Wisdom teeth are relics from our history, when we needed more teeth. In the past, people ate much rougher food than they do now. As a result, our teeth would often be badly worn out, especially molars used for grinding rough foods. People needed new molars to replace the old ones so they could keep chewing throughout their lives (up to the ripe old age of 50 or so). But with our modern, processed diet, we don’t need the extra molars.
And the molars become a problem because less aggressive chewing means that our jaws don’t grow as large as they used to. Now there’s not enough room for these extra teeth. If they are allowed to come in, wisdom teeth can cause serious complications, including:
- Crowded and crooked teeth
- Damage to neighboring teeth
- Difficulty cleaning
- Gum disease
- Infected teeth
- Tumors and cysts (mostly benign)
- Jaw misalignment, TMJ, headaches, and related problems
When your wisdom teeth first begin to develop, we will see them in your x-rays. We’ll be able to evaluate the development of the teeth, predict their path of development and emergence, and predict when and how they’ll emerge. If it looks like they will become impacted (run into other teeth) or cause other problems, we will recommend having them removed before they cause problems.
Benefits of Early Removal for Wisdom Teeth
It is certainly reasonable to take a wait-and-see approach to your wisdom teeth. We can watch as they develop and see if they become problematic. However, there are some very good reasons to extract them early:
- Have a more comfortable procedure
- Reduce surgical risks
- Protect other teeth from damage
- Keep your teeth straight
- Avoid gum disease related to wisdom teeth
- Prevent discomfort related to wisdom teeth emergence
The decision about the timing of your wisdom teeth removal is ultimately yours, but we will make sure you understand the costs and benefits of waiting or acting now.
More Comfortable Wisdom Teeth Extractions
If you are concerned about the discomfort related to wisdom teeth extractions, let us calm your anxiety. With modern dental surgical practices, teeth extractions are more comfortable than ever. With local anesthesia, you will not experience discomfort during the procedure, and there will be little discomfort after the procedure. You will typically take over-the-counter medications for a couple of days to control the discomfort, but it won’t be too serious.
But for people who are still anxious, we have even better news. We are able to offer the most comfortable extractions in our office because Dr. Kendall is certified to provide IV sedation at our office. IV sedation is when sedative medications are introduced directly to your bloodstream, allowing for rapid onset of sedation. We can precisely control the level of sedation and keep you sedated as long as necessary for the procedure.
Would you like to learn more about the benefits of wisdom teeth extraction at Denali Dental Care? Please call (907) 274-7691 today for an appointment with one of our dentists.