For some people, wisdom teeth (aka third molars) can be a real nuisance. This is why some dentists advise their patients to have their wisdom teeth removed as a precautionary measure against any possible dental complications. However, it’s also true that some people never experience problems with their wisdom teeth.
In fact, there is inadequate proof to determine whether there’s a need for wisdom teeth removal when said molars are asymptomatic or disease-free. Therefore, if your impacted wisdom teeth aren’t causing you any pain, discomfort or dental issues, it might not be necessary to have them removed.
Since individual cases vary, what applies to others who have had their third molars removed by a wisdom teeth dentist might not apply to you. If you’re torn between keeping your wisdom teeth or having them removed, it’s crucial to be aware of the pros and cons of wisdom teeth removal, so you can make an informed decision.
Pros of wisdom teeth removal
When wisdom teeth do not grow properly, they could cause issues, including the following:
- They may grow roots into nearby teeth if they erupt sideways or crowd other molars.
- They are hard to reach and clean with a toothbrush and can trap food particles, plaque and other debris that can lead to dental problems.
- They can cause considerable pain, especially when they come out during adulthood when the gums have hardened.
It may be beneficial to get your wisdom teeth removed because:
- The risks involving having impacted teeth can be minimised or eliminated.
- Teeth crowding and the need to undergo orthodontic treatment can be avoided.
- It can prevent the discomfort and pain associated with impacted teeth.
Cons of wisdom teeth removal
Wisdom teeth removal has some several short- and long-term disadvantages, namely:
- Pain and discomfort immediately after the procedure
- Possible surgical complications like infection, nerve damageor dry socket (alveolar osteitis)
- Temporary or permanent change in speech, usually because of swelling or numbness
- Sinus problems, including pain and breathing difficulty
- The high cost of the procedure, particularly if you don’t have insurance
- Long-term complications such as numbness, increased sensitivity in the affected area and damage to nearby molars
Get help from a wisdom teeth dentist
Deciding to have your wisdom teeth removed can help prevent dental complications associated with impacted molars. However, before finalising your decision, it’s best to get the opinion of your dentist.
After checking your teeth, your dentist will provide their own professional input, so you have all the facts first before proceeding any further.