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Wisdom Teeth

Girl having toothache

Berkeley, CA patients benefit from gentle wisdom teeth removal

n most cases, we strive to preserve teeth, or replace those that are unavoidably lost. Virtually every natural tooth is important for oral health and functionality – but there are exceptions. Specifically, the third set of molars, more often referred to as wisdom teeth, are neither necessary nor beneficial. In truth, they can pose serious risks to your oral health. Dr. Ruhi Sangha and Dr. Praj Kamat of Transcendentist in Berkeley, CA often recommend removal of wisdom teeth in order to prevent infection as well as damage to other teeth and surrounding tissue.

Why wisdom teeth are problematic

Secondary (adult) teeth typically begin emerging when a child is around six or seven years old. By the time he or she is a teenager, 28 permanent teeth (front teeth, premolars, first and second molars) have generally appeared. By age 16, the majority of jaw growth and development is complete. At this point, the individual has a fully functional oral structure. Then come the third set of molars (lower and upper wisdom teeth), usually erupting between the ages of 17 and 21. Unfortunately, many people don’t have room for more teeth in their mouths.

What happens when an erupting tooth has nowhere to go? Often, it stays partially or completely below the gumline, a condition known as an impacted tooth. This invites a host of problems, including:

  • Teeth developing below the gumline can damage nerves and other delicate subsurface tissues
  • Wisdom teeth often crowd other teeth, possibly leading to fractures
  • A partially erupted tooth creates an opening where bacteria can enter
  • You nor your dentist can clean a tooth that is hidden beneath soft tissue

When is wisdom tooth extraction needed?

There is no doubt that an infected or broken wisdom tooth needs to be extracted. However, many people can avoid these painful problems by getting wisdom teeth out while they are in their late teens. Dr. Ruhi Sangha or Dr. Praj Kamat will perform a detailed examination including digital x-rays to determine if a person’s wisdom teeth are likely to cause problems before making a recommendation.

If there is enough space and wisdom teeth are likely to develop trouble-free, there is no need to remove them. Your dentist will advise you about wisdom teeth care and monitor their development. However, if the teeth are growing at a poor angle, or they are on track to cause damage, then early removal is a wise choice. Please call us at (510) 800-7660 to schedule an examination to learn what is best for your situation.

Success Stories

Dr. Praj has been working my teeth for awhile now. She a highly skilled dentist. She’s done three fillings for me and has the gentlest touch with the local anesthetic. She is a master of teeth cleaning!

Kalani R.
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