Can I Keep My Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are those that grow at the very back of the mouth. They are the last teeth to form and are generally seen between the ages of seventeen and twenty-five. Of course, not all wisdom teeth develop correctly. It is believed that the teeth were once replacements for those that would naturally fall out of the course of a lifetime. That was before the age of the modern dentist. Today, thanks to proper oral hygiene and a better understanding of teeth, it is not as common for a person to experience tooth loss. Thus, the need for wisdom teeth has been eliminated. Unfortunately, this also means that there is often too little space at the back of the mouth for the new arrivals. This can cause them to grow in crooked, incorrectly, or not at all.

If my teeth are impacted… When the teeth are unable to break through the surface — either because there is not enough space for them or because they are at the wrong angle — they are referred to as ‘impacted’. There are many dangers linked to leaving impacted teeth in place. They should be removed or else the individual is placed at increased risk of serious infection. Infections that begin in the mouth can easily spread through the bloodstream to impact other areas of the body as well. So, the mere act of ignoring an impacted tooth can spell serious disaster for a person. Even if the infection doesn’t spread, it can result in the formation of a cyst at around the impacted tooth. The fluid-filled growth can continue to develop until it actually results in the hollowing of the jaw bone, destruction of nearby nerves, and destroys the surrounding teeth.

But I am pain free…Even if the tooth has not yet caused you any harm, if it has not grown in properly, it is highly suggested by any dentist that you have it removed. When wisdom teeth erupt, but only partially, it can point to problems in the future. First and foremost, the bacteria is more likely to form about the tooth, leading to damaging decay and possible infection. When it has erupted at an undesirable angle, it can push against the neighboring tooth, eventually cracking or otherwise harming it. A Waco dentist can remove the tooth with very little pain today, which makes the procedure much less torturous than one might expect.

But my teeth have grown in correctly… If this is the case – the teeth have grown in straight and problem free – then the dentist will likely agree that you are safe to keep them. However, it is important to realize that, being so far back in the mouth, it is more difficult to keep them properly clean. This can make them more susceptible to decay and also suggests a greater need for regular professional check-ups and cleanings.

If you are uncertain about the state of your wisdom teeth, consult a professional. There is no harm in asking and it may help you to avoid serious complications down the road.

Conquering Your Dental Fears

Dental phobia? It’s not as uncommon as you think. There are literally thousands of people throughout the US who deal with a fear of the Austin dentist everyday, and there are a variety of different reasons behind that fear.

The most common reason behind your anxiety is previous bad experiences. Studies suggest 85% of dental phobias and the dentist office are related to bad experiences in the past. This can include something like a painful dental visit or humiliation by a dentist in the past. In fact, insensitive professionals are the second leading cause for anxiety in this situation. Because an off-hand remark by the hygienist or dentist can create negative feelings, people often avoid future appointments based on one bad experience. Physical pain is, of course, also a leading cause behind the anxiety. If you’ve had a few bad appointments, you may be worried that the pain will only continue, and it’s a good reason to be afraid. The other reason behind your dental anxiety, though, could be wholly unrelated to the dentist’s chair itself. Individuals who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or have an unrelated history of abuse may have a case of dental phobia because of their past emotional issues. It is very important to carefully choose an Austin family dentist.

No matter what the reason behind the fear, though, conquering it is the key to good oral health. These tips may help you tackle the issues head-on.

  • The first step is to identify your fears. Understanding exactly what it is that you’re afraid of is the key to conquering it. Do some reading. You may even want to visit forums and bulletin boards where individuals can interact and overcome their fears on a psychological level before they head in for a cleaning or dental procedure. Your dentist will be able to answer your questions about ceramic veneers and dental bonding.
  • The second step is to talk with Dr. Roach at your first appointment about some of your concerns. Together the two of you can create a plan of action to deal with your fears during each appointment. You may want to agree on a non verbal signal to stop treatment. You may also want to use relaxation methods like headphones with music. It can also be helpful to get regular reassurances from the dentist as he works. You might want to ask for extra time for each appointment to ensure you don’t feel rushed. Don’t hesitate to ask him about treatment for a chipped tooth.
  • The final step, of course, is to work on continually overcoming your fear. Even if you conquer it once and make it to Dr. Roach’s office, it could still return before your next appointment. Fighting it through other techniques outside of the office is a must.

If none of these help, you may want to talk with Dr. Roach about sedation during dental procedures. It can be extremely useful when the fear of the chair is just too much. When you’re ready for great oral health and tackling your fears head-on, give us a call. We’ll set up a consultation session so you can get to know Dr Roach and our team before you ever hit the chair. Be sure and ask Dr. Roach about invisalign Austin and teeth whitening Austin. He can answer your questions about gum surgery too.

About the Author: Bobby Milton has worked in the dental industry for over 20 years and writes and lectures on many different dental topics