Why do we remove wisdom teeth?
There are many elements that come into play when evaluating the need for the extraction of wisdom teeth. Among the most important are:
- Lack of space
- Pressure on the surrounding teeth and displacement of teeth
- Infections or recurrent inflammations
- Cysts or tumors
- The patient’s age
- The position of the tooth
- The patient’s health
In some cases, the extraction of wisdom teeth is not always required. We look at each case individually to assess whether the tooth or teeth will not cause problems (infection, inflammation, pain, etc).
The ideal age of extractions is between 16 and 21 years because we do not want to remove wisdom teeth before the roots are fully formed (to avoid damage to the mandibular nerve that lies in the bone) and also because a half-formed root will be less anchored in the bone. Any young person should be examined to assess the need to extract them, but as we stated previously, we do not do extract systematically. If we believe that the wisdom tooth will remain in the bone without causing complications or that it will come out normally, we let it be.
We very often see wisdom teeth growing in the wrong direction and remain stuck, either by the jaw bone or by the neighboring tooth. In that case, because the teeth are not completely out of the gum, food lodges itself between the gum and the tooth and can cause painful infections. In other cases, the antagonist (the maxilla) continues to grow as the tooth of the mandible is stuck, forcing the patient to bite his cheeks continuously.