Wisdom Tooth Alternatives to Extraction

Treatment alternatives

When we’re considering wisdom teeth, there are only two possibilities:

  • Keep them.
  • Remove them.

Keeping wisdom teeth

A few lucky people are able to keep their wisdom teeth and take proper care of them. In many cases, though, there isn't enough room in the jaw for wisdom teeth to come in properly. When a tooth cannot come in properly, we call it an impacted tooth. 

Removing wisdom teeth

Removing wisdom teeth is sometimes the best choice for keeping your mouth healthy. If you delay extracting a wisdom tooth that should come out, serious problems can result, including— 

  • painful infection of the gums.
  • tooth decay.
  • periodontal disease.
  • destruction of the jawbone.

You should also know that it’s often better to remove wisdom teeth while their roots are still small. Early removal can make the procedure easier and the healing process faster. Sometimes this means that wisdom teeth should be removed even before they have come in through the gums. If you wait too long before having wisdom teeth extracted, the roots can grow around or close to a nerve in the jaw, which may then be damaged during extraction. This could leave your lip and chin permanently numb.

For all these reasons, we often recommend extracting wisdom teeth early to help you keep your mouth and smile healthy.

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