If you have been told that you need to have one of your wisdom teeth removed, you may be wondering whether or not to opt to get all 4 removed at once, to save the hassle of potentially having them removed individually at a later date.
It’s true that wisdom teeth are the teeth that are most likely to need to be extracted. This is largely for two reasons. Firstly, their location in the very back of the mouth means that they are the hardest teeth to keep clean. It can be tricky to maneuver the toothbrush around to clean them effectively, and flossing is difficult too. This means that the wisdom teeth are more likely to be affected by plaque, as food and bacteria interact to produce a clear, sticky film that can cause decay, infection, and gum disease.
Secondly, wisdom teeth are the very last to erupt. What this means is that often, by the time they start to come through, there isn’t enough space left at the back of the mouth to accommodate them. This can cause a range of issues, from preventing them coming through altogether (impaction), to them pushing part way, forcing other teeth out of position and causing them to become twisted, crooked or overlapping. They can even cause damage to neighboring teeth. Any partial eruption can also leave an open wound, through which bacteria from the mouth will enter and cause infection. Wisdom teeth infections can be very painful and unpleasant.
There are a number of benefits to deciding to have all four of your wisdom teeth removed at the same time. These include the following:
You will only need to undergo one surgery, which means you will only have one pre-operative appointment, one round of anesthesia and sedation, and one recovery period. This is much more convenient and much less costly.
You can prevent problems with your wisdom teeth from occurring, helping you to avoid unnecessary pain and suffering, and expensive dental treatments.
You will be able to avoid unnecessary damage to your neighboring teeth, as well as misalignment issues.
You can reduce your risk of developing gum disease. This is important because gum disease is progressive and can cause significant issues for the health and appearance of your smile. Studies have also shown that patients with severe gum disease are more likely to experience tooth loss and develop a range of general health conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
You will only need one recovery period, which enables you to avoid repeated episodes of discomfort and being unable to eat the foods that you like while your mouth heals.
Despite the benefits associated with having all of your wisdom teeth removed at the same time, every patient is different and what is right for one isn’t necessarily the best solution for another. Your dentist or oral surgeon will evaluate you as an individual and make a recommendation based on your specific circumstances. To find out more about wisdom tooth removal, or to schedule a consultation for your teeth to be assessed, please contact our offices.