Wisdom teeth are the third and last molars to appear, usually in the late teens or early twenties-and that is when the problems they cause start, too.
Some of those problems are the result of impacted wisdom teeth. Wedged between the jawbone and another tooth, impacted wisdom teeth can push on other teeth.
An impacted wisdom tooth is painful if it becomes infected, and the pain can persist days after antibiotics are started. And cysts can form around impacted wisdom teeth, destroying bone before the problem is noticed.
There are other reasons to extract wisdom teeth preventively. They are virtually impossible to keep free of plaque and are therefore a breeding ground for periodontal disease, which then spreads. And their nerves can damage nerves in the jaw. Wisdom teeth are therefore best extracted early-even before they break through the gums.
They are easier to remove during the mid-teens, with shorter roots and more space around them. There is less risk of nerve damage, bone fills in better behind the second molar, and the process is therefore less painful and faster and easier to heal.
Come into our Manhattan office to talk to one of our dentists about extracting your wisdom teeth.