Even if only one or two of your wisdom teeth are causing you pain, your oral surgeon is likely to recommend that you get all four of them removed.
Is this really necessary? Wouldn’t it be better to space out the tooth extractions, or simply keep the teeth that aren’t causing any problem?
The truth is that for most patients, removing all four wisdom teeth at once is the best option. Here’s why.
Healthy Wisdom Teeth May Not Need to be Removed
Any wisdom tooth that is healthy and growing properly may not require extraction. So you could certainly opt to remove only the painful teeth now and adopt a wait-and-see approach for the others.
Keep in mind, though, that the third molars are notorious for causing a variety of dental problems. As they grow in, they frequently become impacted (stuck inside the gums). And if they do manage to erupt, these teeth don’t always come in straight. Irregular growth can damage nearby teeth or crowd the mouth.
Keeping your third molars can also increase your risk of developing gum disease. This area of the mouth is difficult to clean well and is a major breeding ground for the bacteria that cause gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Why Extracting All 4 Wisdom Teeth at Once Is Wise
For these and other reasons, leaving your third molars in place may not be a good idea. But why should you have all four wisdom teeth extracted at once, rather than removing them at different times?
Financially, multiple extractions will cost more than having them all removed at once. If you space out the extractions, you’ll have to pay for multiple oral surgeon office visits as well as additional procedural and anesthesia costs.
Also, your discomfort and inconvenience will essentially be the same whether you have one or four extractions. Do you really want to go through that process multiple times? For most patients, the answer is no.
Healing from Wisdom Teeth Extraction
With proper aftercare, patients typically experience the same amount of overall discomfort, regardless of how many wisdom teeth are removed. The extraction sites usually heal within about three to five days, and the gums are completely recovered within a few weeks.
Most patients who require extraction for one or two wisdom teeth eventually face having to remove the remaining third molars. Ultimately, however, the answer to this question will depend on your diagnosis and what the oral surgeon believes is the most appropriate treatment approach.
Dr. Maxfield and Dr. Partridge of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah can answer questions and address all of your concerns. Contact our Salt Lake City, Utah, office today to schedule a consultation for your wisdom tooth extraction.