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wisdom teeth on x-rayWisdom teeth are often a topic of concern for many patients, and we get asked a lot of questions about these sometimes pesky teeth. How do you know if you need to have your wisdom teeth removed? What happens if you don’t extract wisdom teeth? Does the procedure hurt? We understand that wisdom teeth can be confusing and perhaps even scary, but don’t worry, our dental office in Sparks is here to help.

Wisdom teeth are usually first seen on dental x-rays during routine appointments with your dentist in Sparks. Typically your dental team can see them before you even know that they’re starting to work their way to surface. This is also when we can most likely tell if they’re going to need to be removed. Most of the time, they will need to come out. In fact, 90% of Americans have their wisdom teeth removed. But what happens if you don’t have your wisdom teeth extracted?


The top reason why most wisdom teeth need to be removed is that there’s simply not enough room in the mouth for these new teeth. Your dental x-rays will show your dentist whether or not there will be enough space for your wisdom teeth. However, if your mouth doesn’t have adequate room and you do not have your wisdom teeth removed, it can lead to overcrowding, crooked teeth, or even an impaction. Having impacted wisdom teeth essentially means that the teeth are stuck in your bone below the gum line. This can be very painful and increases the risk of infection.

Coming in Sideways

Wisdom teeth also have a funny way of working themselves sideways and start to come through horizontally rather than vertically through the gums. If this occurs, nearby healthy teeth can be seriously damaged and your bite can be affected, causing larger, more serious, and painful problems.

The Dangers of Bacteria

Let’s say your wisdom teeth develop perfectly and there’s room for them in your mouth. While rare, it does happen. If you’re one of the few that can keep their wisdom teeth, problems may still find you in the future. Wisdom teeth are way in the back of the mouth which makes them very difficult to properly care for. If proper oral hygiene isn’t maintained, teeth can decay and the risk for gum disease increases.

Maintaining regular visits to our Sparks dental office not only helps protect your existing teeth from decay, but these appointments can also help us identify whether your wisdom teeth should be removed before any problems arise. If your wisdom teeth do need to be removed, don’t worry. The procedure is incredibly common and your dental team will do everything they can to keep you comfortable during and after treatment.

Sparks’ Total Health Approach to Dental Care   

When your oral health is a priority, the only thing it can do is benefit you. Not only will you see an improved smile, better functionality of your teeth, and little to no discomfort, but you can also be improving other areas of your health as well.

What is the Oral-Systemic Connection?

Dentistry and medicine are closely linked as the oral-systemic connection becomes more clearly understood. Dentists trained in diagnosing periodontal disease can spot changes within the mouth, that could potentially be a sign of a larger issue. The oral-systemic connection demonstrates the association between your oral health and different systemic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

What Can I Do To Ensure My Oral Health?

First, you need to visit your dentist regularly. This way, she can monitor your oral health and intervene if needed, before issues become more complicated.

Taking a proactive approach to your dental care is another great way to ensure longevity of your oral health. Practice meticulous oral hygiene at home, including proper brushing and flossing, and watch for signs of periodontal disease, such as bleeding, swollen, or receding gums.

The best investment in your health is to stay healthy and for many patients, it starts with good oral health.