24 Jul I’m Postponing Dental Treatment Because it’s Not Bothering Me
For many patients, it can be easy to put off dental treatments if they’re not having any symptoms that interfere with their quality of life. This is especially true of an intervention that requires oral surgery, such as wisdom teeth extraction.
However, procrastinating may not be the best strategy when it comes to your oral health, especially when it comes to your wisdom teeth. Delaying treatment until symptoms develop can lead to long-term consequences for your oral health.
The wisdom teeth will become impacted, or unable to erupt properly, in most people because the jaw isn’t big enough to fit those large third molars and all of the rest of the teeth. Impacted teeth typically must be removed by an oral surgeon, as the procedure may require the removal of additional bone or gum tissue in addition to extracting the tooth.
Impacted wisdom teeth have the potential to cause a variety of problems. It is tremendously difficult to keep the rear of the mouth clear of oral bacteria and bits of food that can provide nutrition for that bacteria, so the wisdom teeth are particularly susceptible to infections and even abscesses. Impacted wisdom teeth can also develop cysts or tumors.
The third molars will continue to try to erupt, even if there’s no room to accommodate them, and this can interfere with the alignment of the teeth (potentially undoing the results of years worth of orthodontic treatment), damage surrounding teeth and cause discomfort for the patient.
In the case of wisdom teeth extraction, holding off on the procedure can actually complicate matters because in older patients, the surgery is more complex and the recovery period is longer. This is why so many patients choose to have their wisdom teeth removed in their late teens or early twenties.
Wisdom teeth extraction is a relatively routine procedure, and your oral surgeon will thoroughly review any potential risks and side effects with you during the treatment planning process. If you have any concerns about this treatment that are causing you to postpone it, discuss them with your oral surgeon to ensure that you are making a well-informed decision.
For more information, contact Commonwealth Oral & Facial Surgery at any of our four convenient locations.