Impacted or malpositioned wisdom teeth are associated with a number of complications related to inflammation including infection, caries, and periodontal disease. Hence why they are recommended for early removal during teen age years before occurrence of such problems. But how about when wisdom teeth have erupted into the mouth and are no longer impacted? Can they cause problems? The answer is yes- There are several common issues:
First, in many people erupted wisdom teeth can cause frequent cheek biting resulting in sores, ulcers, or fibromas. It causes pain and are quite uncomfortable. Second, because of difficult access to hygiene and maintenance, they can still cause plaque retention and ultimately result in caries or periodontal disease. Therefore, removal of wisdom teeth, even if completely erupted into the mouth is indicated.
The extraction of such wisdom teeth can be done with minimally-invasive techniques requiring virtually no incisions. Generally, there is no post-operative swelling and minimal discomfort and patients can get back to work or school in a day or two. IV sedation remains the best way to have such procedures done with optimal comfort, although it can be done under local anesthesia. The entire procedure including removal of all 4 wisdom teeth generally takes about 15-20 minutes.
The only time it may be safe to leave a wisdom tooth in place is when they are completely erupted into the mouth and fully accessible for an effective cleaning and hygiene by the patient.