The extraction of wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, is a common procedure in dentistry. Approximately 20% of the population is missing these teeth, and when they are present, dentists often recommend their removal. But why are wisdom teeth removed? There are several reasons for this decision:
- Pain and infection: one of the most frequent reasons for wisdom teeth removal is the appearance of pain or infection in these teeth. Wisdom teeth can be partially covered by gum and/or bone, which is known as an “inclusion”. In these cases, dental hygiene is complicated, and if proper cleaning is not maintained, they can become inflamed and cause infections (known as phlegmon) that can even affect the roots of adjacent molars, often leading to the need for extraction.
- Presence of decay: When wisdom teeth develop decay, extraction is often the preferred option, especially if you do not have an opposing tooth to bite on. Difficulty of access for brushing and poor positioning of these teeth often contribute to the development of caries. In such cases, extraction is considered the best solution to eliminate infection and prevent further problems.
- Malposition: Sometimes third molars are placed horizontally and can injure the anterior molar, so it is advisable to extract them to prevent injury and movement of other teeth.
- Compromise to the dental nerve: In some patients, wisdom teeth may be positioned in such a way that they have a high risk of compromising the dental nerve. To accurately determine the position between the tooth and the nerve, a computed tomography (CT) scan is recommended. This technology provides a three-dimensional view of the position of the tooth in relation to the surrounding anatomical structures, which facilitates accurate and safe planning of the procedure in the event of removal.
Thus, wisdom teeth extraction is carried out for various reasons, which may vary according to the patient and his or her specific dental situation. At Clínica Miravéco the proposal to extract these teeth is presented to the patient after a thorough evaluation by the dentist, who determines if the extraction is necessary based on the symptoms and the particular dental conditions with the objective of improving oral health and the prevention of future complications.