panoramic x-ray

Is It Smart to Remove My Wisdom Teeth?

While many dentists recommend removing your wisdom teeth during the teenage years long before any symptoms occur, not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth removed. Why would you want to go through that procedure when you aren’t experiencing any problems? Our job as dental professionals at Cornelia Dental is to help you to weigh the benefits of having your wisdom teeth removed against the risks involved in removing the teeth.

Complications can arise when these third molars become impacted as they are blocked from growing into the mouth completely by either the jaw itself or surrounding teeth. When that happens … these little troublemakers have the ability to really ruin your day. Our digital panoramic x-ray is an excellent tool for diagnosing the level of impaction, assessing risk factors, and determining the best course of action for you. This x-ray is quite comfortable since the x-ray head rotates around your head while you stand still. The digital image appears on our computer screen and allows us to see your entire jaw and sinuses as well as all of your teeth.

Since you may not experience any signs of an impacted wisdom tooth, we screen for potential problems with 3rd molars at your preventive dental visits. Some people choose to deal with wisdom teeth proactively before they have symptoms. In between your regular six month visits, it is possible that you may experience symptoms which could range from mild to severe:

  • Localized pain where the tooth is growing in the jaw
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Redness in the area where tooth would erupt
  • Headaches
  • Tenderness at site
  • Swelling in the jaw
  • Periodontitis (recession and unprovoked bleeding of the gums)
  • Unpleasant breath odor
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Pressure localized around the molar/gum area
  • Swollen, tender, red, or bleeding gums

Not experiencing any of these problems? You may choose to keep your wisdom teeth if:

  • Your teeth have completely erupted (grown normally through the gum surface) and are in correct alignment with your other teeth
  • You are able to bite and chew with your wisdom teeth without problems
  • You are able to keep your wisdom teeth as clean as your other teeth
  • Your wisdom teeth and the teeth surrounding them are healthy
  • The risk of removing the wisdom tooth is greater than the benefit of removing the tooth.

Concerned about your wisdom teeth? Want to know which course of action is right for you?

Call for a 3rd molar / wisdom tooth consultation