Reasons Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Extracted
By Kent Wildern, DDS
May 08, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: wisdom teeth  

What your dentist in Grand Rapids, MI, wants you to know about wisdom teeth removal

There’s a lot of information out there about wisdom teeth. Do you have them removed, or do you keep them? That’s a difficult wisdom teethquestion only your dentist can answer. Your Grand Rapids, MI, dentist Dr. Kent Wildern, wants to share what you need to know about your wisdom teeth.


We are frequently asked when is the best time to remove impacted wisdom teeth. Since all impacted third molar, (wisdom teeth) teeth are potentially pathologic, prudent care requires removal, repositioning or long-term monitoring. Pathologies produced by wisdom teeth are numerous and include inflammation, infection, dissolving of bone, cavities, cystic lesions and tumors. These conditions usually increase with age. If the wisdom tooth partially erupts through the gum, this can create an opening where bacteria may enter and cause infection. The tooth may also continue growing while impacted and cause damage to adjacent teeth.

In our experience, patients do best with treatment and their recovery when impacted teeth are removed prior to their clinical exposure into the mouth and after they have developed around two-thirds of their root structure. As with any surgical procedure, post-surgical complications may occur. Fortunately, the complication rate is low when such procedures can be done at an early age. Not everybody needs their wisdom teeth out, but it’s most often necessary and as your age increases the potential for pathology and post-surgical complications increases.

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are not necessary to chew your food efficiently. In fact, they are often positioned poorly so that they do not actually help chew your food at all. Many people don’t have space for them, so they either only erupt partially, or don’t erupt at all.

Ideally, you should have your wisdom teeth removed between the ages of 17 and 25 so that the bone can fill in properly. There are several indications you should have wisdom teeth removed. You need to pay attention to:

  • Pain and pressure affecting your jaws, mouth, and other teeth
  • Crowding and movement of your teeth due to lack of space
  • Difficulty keeping your wisdom teeth clean and free of plaque
  • Decay or damage to your wisdom teeth or the teeth next to them
  • Your wisdom teeth erupting out of position or sideways. 


When having wisdom teeth removed in our office we would like you to have something to eat 4 to 5 hours before the appointment (light meal) and nothing else until after appointment time.

To aid in a quicker and more comfortable recovery, we recommend that you take 400mg of Advil (or other form of Ibuprofen) three times a day beginning two days before your appointment.

We would like someone who can drive come with you to this appointment. You will not be put to sleep in our office. We do have Nitrous Oxide (if desired) and will be using a local anesthetic.

Having your wisdom teeth removed can help you maintain a healthy, beautiful smile because you can clean your teeth more effectively and completely. Dr. Wildern is dedicated to providing comfortable, relaxing care before, during, and after your appointment, so call Dr. Kent Wildern in Grand Rapids, MI. Call today!