Though helping you keep your natural teeth for your entire life is our goal at Leesburg Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, sometimes a tooth extraction may be the best treatment option.
One of the most common extractions is wisdom teeth. That’s because the wisdom teeth often cause problems with the other teeth and removing them is the best choice for your overall oral health. Your wisdom teeth are molars, the teeth in the back of the mouth. They are the last set of molars to come in, usually arriving in the late teens or early 20s. They got the name wisdom teeth because they often come in when a person is near the end of high school or in college.
The problem with wisdom teeth is that because they are the last teeth to come in, sometimes there is not room for them to fit so they get trapped and don’t come in, remaining trapped under the gums, or they force their way in but are angled. Sometimes they crowd other teeth and cause problems for these teeth as well. Wisdom teeth and the other molars have complicated roots compared to the front teeth. That is why the extraction of molars is done under general anesthesia. Simple extractions of other teeth are usually done with a local anesthetic.
“Dr. Whitman and her team were a pleasure to work with. They removed my son’s impacted wisdom teeth and did a great job. I’d recommend this practice to anyone looking for professional, friendly dental care.”
— Gil, Waterford, VA
Gil’s 19-year-old son began complaining of pain in the back of his mouth, and Gil knew it had to be time for his son’s wisdom teeth to begin coming in. They made an appointment with Dr. Whitman, who determined that all four of the emerging wisdom teeth were impacted with x-rays.
“Dr. Whitman was great with my son, explaining everything in a way he could understand and answering all his questions,” Gil says. “We soon scheduled an appointment to have the teeth removed.”
Gil says the procedure went smoothly, and his son recovered quickly afterward. Today, his son is pain-free with his impacted wisdom teeth gone. “We enjoyed coming to a practice where we felt the care was personable yet professional. I appreciated that about Leesburg Family & Cosmetic Dentistry. A big thanks to Dr. Whitman and her team for taking care of my son’s wisdom teeth!”
The decision of whether or not a tooth should be extracted is ultimately up to you, but Dr. Whitman can offer advice and explain the options. With wisdom teeth, some people are fortunate and have wisdom teeth with no issues, eliminating the need for extraction. For others, it can be a difficult decision to make. Generally the extraction will be easier if it is done at an earlier age. Some people do choose to have their wisdom teeth removed to prevent problems from developing later.
Wisdom Teeth and Extractions FAQs
Here are a few of the most common questions people ask about wisdom teeth and extractions.
Is it better to get an extraction than a root canal?
Neither of these options is better than the other; it’s a decision that can only be made on an individual, case-by-case basis. What is important is that you have a healthy tooth. If extraction is the choice, then the tooth should be replaced with a false tooth, bridge or implant.
I need a tooth extracted but I’m afraid the pain of the needle. Can I just wait for the tooth to fall out on its own?
If you allow a dying tooth to fall out on its own, it might take a lot longer than you think. And during that time, the decay from that tooth can spread to other teeth. The injection for anesthesia before a tooth extraction might not be pleasant, but the toothache pain you experience from your dying tooth is likely to be far worse, and continue for days or weeks. Sedation dentistry can also help you relax and make the extraction appointment comfortable.
If my wisdom teeth are okay now, can they suddenly start causing problems years from now?
If you’re one of the lucky ones whose wisdom teeth come in correctly, there is a good chance you can keep them, along with the rest of your teeth, for your whole life. However, proper oral hygiene and regular checkups are essential to maintaining the health of all your teeth.
“Me and my family have been with Dr. Whitman for many years. She makes my 12 and 7 year old feel comfortable and not fear the dentist. When needed in the case of an emergency,
the practice always gets us in quickly. PS, all of the staff is extremely friendly.” 5 out of 5 stars – Shane Dowler on 03/20/2018
“Dr. Kime Whitman is highly accomplished, intelligent and kind. In her dentistry she is meticulous, careful, low key, soft spoken, efficient, effective and gentle. One cannot be in better hands than with Dr Whitman.” 5 out of 5 stars – Sandy Marks on 06/11/2018
“Dr Whitman is fantastic! She is really gentle and deals well with patients that have anxiety. Not only is she wonderful but so is her entire staff. They are all very friendly and personable.” 5 out of 5 stars – Cat Leftely on 02/02/2017