The Benefits of Wisdom Tooth Extraction

In the back of our mouths, hiding in the corners, are our wisdom teeth. These third molars, which typically emerge between the ages of 17 and 25, are a leftover trait from our ancestors who had bigger jaws to accommodate more teeth for a harder, coarser diet. In modern times, these teeth often cause more trouble than they're worth, leading to a common procedure known as wisdom teeth removal.

Understanding the nature and function of wisdom teeth is the first step in recognizing the potential issues they can cause and the solutions that modern dentistry provides.

What is Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

Wisdom tooth extraction is a dental procedure that involves the removal of one or more of the third molars, commonly known as wisdom teeth. This operation can be performed by a general dentist or an oral surgeon, depending on the complexity of the situation.

The procedure generally involves numbing the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic (or using sedation for anxious patients or more complex cases), making an incision in the gum to expose the tooth and bone, removing any bone that blocks access to the tooth root, dividing the tooth into sections to make it easier to remove, removing the tooth, cleaning the site of the removed tooth of any debris from the tooth or bone, and finally, stitching the wound closed to promote healing.

Wisdom tooth extraction is a common procedure and is typically performed with minimal complications. However, as with any surgical procedure, it is not without risks. Understanding why wisdom tooth extraction is necessary can help one weigh the benefits against the potential risks.


Why is Wisdom Tooth Extraction Necessary?


The necessity of wisdom tooth extraction often comes down to a lack of space in the mouth. When there isn't enough room for wisdom teeth to grow in properly, they can become impacted, meaning they're unable to break through the gums completely. This can cause a variety of problems, including pain, infection, and damage to surrounding teeth.

Impacted wisdom teeth can also lead to the formation of cysts, which are fluid-filled sacs that can damage bones, teeth, and nerves in the mouth. In some cases, they can even lead to the development of tumors.

Even wisdom teeth that aren't impacted can cause problems. For example, because wisdom teeth are so far back in the mouth, they can be hard to clean properly. This can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. For these reasons, dentists often recommend wisdom teeth removal to prevent these potential problems from occurring.


Key Benefits of Wisdom Tooth Extraction

While the thought of having teeth removed might not sound appealing, there are several key benefits to wisdom tooth extraction. The first and most immediate benefit is the alleviation of pain. Impacted wisdom teeth can be incredibly uncomfortable, causing persistent pain in the mouth and jaw. By removing these problematic teeth, this source of discomfort is eliminated.

Another significant benefit is the prevention of damage to nearby teeth. When wisdom teeth crowd the mouth, they can push against other teeth, leading to misalignment. This can compromise your bite and require further dental work down the line. Wisdom teeth removal can help maintain the health and alignment of the rest of your teeth. 

Additionally, extraction can prevent more serious health issues. As mentioned earlier, impacted wisdom teeth can lead to the formation of cysts and, in rare cases, tumors. By removing your wisdom teeth, you're eliminating the chance of these severe complications. 


When to Consult a Dentist for Wisdom Teeth Removal?


Typically, dentists will start monitoring the development of your wisdom teeth in late adolescence. Regular dental check-ups are crucial during this time as X-rays can reveal the positioning of these teeth long before they start causing problems.

If you begin to experience pain, discomfort, or swelling in the back of your mouth, it's crucial to consult with a dentist as soon as possible. These symptoms may indicate that your wisdom teeth are impacted or are causing other issues.

It's also essential to keep in mind that not everyone needs their wisdom teeth removed. Some people's mouths can accommodate these extra teeth without issue. So, it's always best to have a thorough discussion with your dentist about the best course of action for your specific situation.



Though wisdom teeth are a natural part of human anatomy, they often cause more harm than good in our modern mouths. Wisdom teeth removal, while it may seem daunting, is a common procedure with several significant benefits, from pain relief to the prevention of more severe dental issues.

Regular dental check-ups are vital in keeping track of the development and potential impact of your wisdom teeth. If you're experiencing any discomfort or have any concerns about your wisdom teeth, don't hesitate to consult your dentist.

Maintaining your dental health, which might include wisdom tooth extraction, is an investment in your overall health and well-being. The benefits of this procedure far outweigh the temporary inconvenience and discomfort, making it a wise choice for many.

For more on the benefits of wisdom tooth extraction, call Oral Surgical Associates in Missoula or Hamilton, Montana at (406) 282-8768 to schedule an appointment today. 

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