I’m getting my upper wisdom teeth out during my college’s spring break. The problem is, all four of them are impacted. My lower wisdom teeth have roots past the nerve. My oral surgeon says there’s a low risk of nerve damage, but I’m nervous to get them out. I can either get them out all at once or wait until they start bothering me; I don’t feel pain, only some pressure. I’m not sure if I should leave the roots to prevent nerve damage, but leaving the roots behind leaves me at risk for infection.
I’m not sure if I should wait, because I don’t want to get surgery a second time. Should I get them all out at once? If I leave the roots, will I get an infection? What should I do?
Mae, from Vermont
Getting your wisdom teeth out becomes more difficult as you age. Getting them out as a college student is less risky than getting them out at 30. The risk of complication doubles every few years. Most dentists recommend getting wisdom teeth out while patients are young. It takes a lot of experience and skill to extract teeth on older patients. Impacted teeth get harder and their roots get thicker with age. You should get your teeth out now, before they get infected and need an emergency extraction.
One option you have is to extract the root, but leave the root tip behind. However, it is difficult to get a clear picture of the situation prior to surgery; the surgeon often has to make the call to leave or remove the root tip during surgery. However, whatever your surgeon decides, the risk of infection should be low at your age.
This blog post is brought to you by Colorado Springs dentist, Dr. Joseph Rota, of Rota Advanced Dental Care.