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Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth, also referred to as third molars, get their name by being the last teeth to come in during young adulthood. As part of a dental visit, your dentist will examine you to determine if your wisdom teeth are healthy and properly positioned. This examination is especially important for teens and young adults.

Every patient is unique, but in general, wisdom teeth may need to be removed when there is evidence of changes in the mouth such as:

Your dentist or specialist may also recommend removal to prevent problems or for others reasons, such as when removal is part of an orthodontic, restorative or periodontal treatment plan.

In addition, the condition of your mouth changes over time. Wisdom teeth that are not removed should continue to be monitored, because the potential for developing problems later on still exists. As with many other health conditions, as people age, they are at greater risk for health problems and that includes potential problems with their wisdom teeth. Regular dental visits are important so your dentist can evaluate not just your wisdom teeth but your overall oral health to help you prevent and manage dental disease and achieve optimal oral health.

Advice to Denture Wearers

Bacteria stick to your teeth and also to full or partial dentures. If you wear dentures, remember to clean them on a daily basis with cleaners made specifically for dentures. Do not use toothpastes for natural teeth or household cleaners, which are too abrasive and can damage dentures that can be expensive to replace.

Take your dentures out of your mouth for at least four hours every 24 hours to keep the lining of your mouth healthy. It’s best to remove your full or partial dentures at night. Your dentist will provide you with instructions about how long your dentures should be worn each day.

Be sure to see your dentist regularly. When you go to your dentist for a check-up bring the following information:

Consumers can find information about dental topics at www.mouthhealthy.org.

Additional Resources:

American Dental Association: www.ada.org
Academy of General Dentistry: www.agd.org

Philadelphia County Dental Society
One Independence Place
241 South 6th Street, Unit #C3101
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Telephone: (215) 925-6050 Fax: (215) 925-6998

General Information, Questions, Comments: info@philcodent.org
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