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Studies show that every year about 10 million people have their wisdom teeth removed. The question is — should you be one of them?

Dr. Woo Young Lee and Dr. Sean Kim, specialists in wisdom tooth extraction at Bay Dental Group in San Jose, California, lead our team with the highest level of expertise. Our professional evaluation can give you the answer you need to the wisdom tooth question.

Your wisdom teeth are your third set of molars. They emerge in the back of your mouth, usually between ages 17 and 25. In many cases, they don’t cause any problems at all, but sometimes they can. Let’s look at the reasons you may or may not need them removed.

When wisdom teeth removal isn’t necessary

If your wisdom teeth come in positioned properly, come up completely, and don’t crowd your other teeth, you might be free and clear of needing wisdom tooth removal surgery. When we examine your mouth, we ensure that your wisdom teeth are healthy and can easily be reached for cleaning once they fully emerge.

When wisdom teeth removal is necessary

Your wisdom teeth can force their way in at an angle to your other teeth and damage those teeth if they crowd the space. Choosing not to have your wisdom teeth extracted in this situation can put you at risk for other oral issues.

Your wisdom teeth can also be impacted, which means they remain completely hidden under your gums. If they stay embedded in your jaw, they can become infected, cause a cyst to develop, and ultimately wreak havoc on your jawbone and the roots of your teeth.

If they’re partially impacted, they rise through the surface of your gums, but then they stop. This can cause bacteria to collect in the area because you can’t brush the teeth properly, leading to infection and gum disease.

Early detection of wisdom teeth

We encourage patients to develop a healthy relationship with our team starting at a young age. That way, we can compare your X-rays on a yearly basis and determine if we foresee any future problems.

We also monitor you for any symptoms that include:

  • Cysts
  • Tumors
  • Damage to your other molars
  • Gum disease
  • Infection
  • Pain

We might recommend removing your wisdom teeth sooner rather than later if we see you’re eventually going to need the surgery. Extracting them when you’re younger can make for an easier recovery because the removal happens before your roots and bone fully develop. You may also experience a faster recovery.

To find out if you’re a candidate for wisdom teeth removal, call us at (408) 725-2442 or request your appointment online today. You can also send us a message if you have any other dental questions or concerns.

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