Wisdom Teeth Specialist

Roach Family Dentistry & Associates -  - Dentist

Roach Family Dentistry & Associates

Dentists & Family, Cosmetic & Restorative Dentists located in Green Hills, Nashville, TN

For the management or removal of wisdom teeth, select Roach Family Dentistry. Dr. Roach is based in and serves the area of Nashville, Tennessee.

Wisdom Teeth Q & A

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to come in, the third set of molars on each side of the top and bottom jaws. The name comes from the fact that they usually erupt in the late teens and early 20s, or the age of increased maturity and wisdom. Wisdom teeth that erupt properly and are straight are an asset to a healthy mouth. In many cases, however, wisdom teeth don’t erupt properly but become impacted, trapped beneath the gum and bone of the jaw.

Why Are Wisdom Teeth Important?

Healthy wisdom teeth provide additional chewing surfaces. When wisdom teeth don’t erupt properly, however, they can tilt sideways and cause damage to other teeth. They may be jammed against the teeth in front of them or erupt only partially because the jaw is already crowded with teeth that have previously erupted. Some research indicates that retained wisdom teeth increase the risk of decay and gum disease.

Why Would Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?

The American Dental Association recommends that patients should have their wisdom teeth evaluated beginning at age 16. The dentist will be looking for signs that the teeth are impacted, too crowded to allow proper oral hygiene, or that cavities or gum disease are beginning in the wisdom teeth and surrounding tissues. Cysts and tumors are more likely to develop in the area of wisdom teeth and are an indication the teeth should be removed. If removal is necessary, it’s advantageous to do so prior to age 20, as the roots are less developed and complications are less likely.

What if I Keep My Wisdom Teeth?

Removing wisdom teeth is not necessarily required, but there are a few caveats. First, good oral hygiene practices are critical: daily flossing and twice-daily brushing, with meticulous attention to cleaning. Second, regular dental visits and professional cleaning are mandatory to allow for a thorough inspection and identify problems early. At any sign of problems, like pain in the jaw, the patient should contact his or her dentist.