Wisdom Teeth Extractions in Thousand Oaks, Westlake and Agoura

Wisdom Teeth Overview

Wisdom teeth, commonly called “third molars,” usually grow in before the age of 25, and they’re called wisdom teeth because they come through at a mature age. For some people, “getting your wisdom teeth in” is a rite of passage and comes and goes without event; for others, the eruption of wisdom teeth can become a problem if they cause crowding in your mouth, erupt in the wrong position, or become impacted . According to the ADA , as your wisdom teeth grow in, your dentist will be looking for the following:

  • Wisdom teeth that aren’t in the right position can trap food. This gives cavity-causing bacteria a place to grow.
  • Wisdom teeth that haven’t come in properly can make it difficult to floss between the wisdom teeth and the molars next to them.
  • Wisdom teeth that have partially come through can give bacteria a place to enter the gums and create a place for infection. This may also lead to pain, swelling and stiffness in your jaw.
  • Wisdom teeth that don’t have room to come through are thought by some to crowd or damage neighboring teeth.
  • A wisdom tooth that is impacted can possibly form a cyst on or near the impacted tooth. This can potentially damage the roots of nearby teeth or destroy the bone that supports your teeth.

How Do I Know if I Need a Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

Visiting your dentist twice a year for regular checkups will help your dentist follow the progress of your teeth. If they see something that concerns them about your wisdom teeth, they’ll examine your teeth further and take X-rays, and together you can discuss treatment. Wisdom teeth are typically removed through a wisdom tooth extraction when there’s evidence of:

  • Healthy teeth adjacent to wisdom teeth could be damaged
  • Risk of impacted teeth
  • Risk of infection
  • Cysts or tumors

Removing impacted wisdom teeth helps reduce the risk of future problems, and people who choose to have wisdom tooth extractions rarely have serious complications. While it’s difficult to predict future problems, the reasons for getting a wisdom tooth extraction instead of leaving wisdom teeth in your mouth may be healthier in the long run:

  • Symptom-free wisdom teeth could still harbor disease.
  • If there isn't enough space for the tooth to erupt, it's often hard to get to it and clean it properly.
  • Serious complications with wisdom teeth happen less often in younger adults.
  • Older adults may experience difficulty with surgery and complications after surgery.