Posts for tag: wisdom teeth

By Mission Hill Dental
February 07, 2022
Category: Dental Procedures

Why do wisdom teeth need to be removed?

Sometime around the late teens or early twenties, people’s wisdom teeth start to erupt. These are the third and final set of molars. When wisdom teeth come in properly — meaning they are correctly aligned — they offer more chewing power. Unfortunately, more often than not, wisdom teeth are misaligned, crowd other teeth, and need to be removed. That's where Dr. Horacio Lucero of Mission Hill Dental comes in. Contact our office in New Braunfels, TX., to learn more.

Why do we have wisdom teeth?

It is thought that we have wisdom teeth because — back in the day — we ate a diet that consisted of more rough foods, like roots, leaves, and meat, all of which required more heavy-duty chewing power.

Reasons Wisdom Teeth Need to be Removed

While there is no clear-cut rule that says every single person needs to have their wisdom teeth removed, there are certain situations where one or more wisdom teeth are causing a problem or have a strong likelihood that problems will eventually arise in the future that warrants their removal.

1. Fully Impacted Wisdom Teeth

When a wisdom tooth is “impacted”, it means that the tooth is covered by gum tissue, thereby preventing it from erupting through the gum. This often occurs when the mouth is too small to allow enough room for the tooth to emerge. Because bacteria, food, or other mouth substances can be lodged under the gum that covers the wisdom tooth, it can lead to an acute abscess, known as pericoronitis.

2. Partially Impacted Wisdom Teeth

When a wisdom tooth is partially impacted, meaning the tooth partially emerges from the gums, it almost always is advised to be removed. Because of its location in the very back of the mouth, a partially erupted wisdom tooth is more susceptible to not only decay and cavities, but also gum disease.

3. Other Reasons to Have Wisdom Teeth Removed

If you experience any of the below dental issues or changes in your dental health, removal of your wisdom tooth (teeth) may be necessary:

  • Pain at or surrounding the wisdom tooth site, including the jaw or cheek area
  • Repetitive infections
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay (extensive)
  • Tumors
  • Cysts
  • Damage to surrounding teeth

It is important to know that the decision to have a wisdom tooth removed isn’t always cut and dry. It is essential to talk to Dr. Horacio Lucero about the alignment of your wisdom teeth if they have already erupted, the health of your wisdom teeth if impacted or partially impacted, and your overall dental health to determine what is best for your situation. Contact our New Braunfels, TX., office to schedule an appointment today with Mission Hill Dental. 


During election season, you'll often hear celebrities encouraging you to vote. But this year, Kaia Gerber, an up-and-coming model following the career path of her mother Cindy Crawford, made a unique election appeal—while getting her wisdom teeth removed.

With ice packs secured to her jaw, Gerber posted a selfie to social media right after her surgery. The caption read, “We don't need wisdom teeth to vote wisely.”

That's great advice—electing our leaders is one of the most important choices we make as a society. But Gerber's post also highlights another decision that bears careful consideration, whether or not to have your wisdom teeth removed.

Found in the very back of the mouth, wisdom teeth (or “third molars”) are usually the last of the permanent teeth to erupt between ages 17 and 25. But although their name may be a salute to coming of age, in reality wisdom teeth can be a pain. Because they're usually last to the party, they're often erupting in a jaw already crowded with teeth. Such a situation can be a recipe for numerous dental problems.

Crowded wisdom teeth may not erupt properly and remain totally or partially hidden within the gums (impaction). As such, they can impinge on and damage the roots of neighboring teeth, and can make overall hygiene more difficult, increasing the risk of dental disease. They can also help pressure other teeth out of position, resulting in an abnormal bite.

Because of this potential for problems, it's been a common practice in dentistry to remove wisdom teeth preemptively before any problems arise. As a result, wisdom teeth extractions are the top oral surgical procedure performed, with around 10 million of them removed every year.

But that practice is beginning to wane, as many dentists are now adopting more of a “wait and see” approach. If the wisdom teeth show signs of problems—impaction, tooth decay, gum disease or bite influence—removal is usually recommended. If not, though, the wisdom teeth are closely monitored during adolescence and early adulthood. If no problems develop, they may be left intact.

This approach works best if you maintain regular dental cleanings and checkups. During these visits, we'll be able to consistently evaluate the overall health of your mouth, particularly in relation to your wisdom teeth.

Just as getting information on candidates helps you decide your vote, this approach of watchful waiting can help us recommend the best course for your wisdom teeth. Whether you vote your wisdom teeth “in” or “out,” you'll be able to do it wisely.

If you would like more information about what's best to do about wisdom teeth, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Wisdom Teeth.”

By Mission Hill Dental
October 08, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures

Is it time for you to have your wisdom teeth extracted?

Despite their name, these third and final set of molars may not bring you wisdom, but they may bring with them a host of dental problems. Many teens and adults deal with impacted wisdom teeth, which occurs when there just isn’t enough room in the mouth for the teeth to fully emerge through the gums. Wondering when you should turn to our New Braunfels, TX, dentists Dr. Horacio Lucero and Dr. Fred Willard to have your wisdom teeth removed? Here are some signs,

Increased Pain and Sensitivity

While it is normal for a wisdom tooth to cause a little discomfort when cutting through the gums, if you are noticing increased or significant pain then it’s worth having the problem evaluated by a dental professional as soon as possible. There are many reasons why you may be dealing with pain and this is typically one of the most common signs that you’ll need an extraction.

Gum Inflammation

Since impacted wisdom teeth do not fully emerge through the gums, this can leave a small opening in the gums where bacteria can enter. This can result in inflamed gum tissue and even an infection. It can be challenging to keep these areas clean and can lead to a form of gum disease that affects the gums around the wisdom teeth. If you notice inflamed, tender or red gums around your impacted wisdom tooth, it’s a good idea to consult our New Braunfels, TX, family dentist right away.

The Development of a Cyst

If you notice a fluid-filled bump on your gums, you may be dealing with a cyst. This problem requires immediate treatment, as an untreated cyst can lead to permanent damage to the tooth roots, bones and neighboring teeth and even cause a tumor. You need to have any bump or growth that develops around your wisdom tooth immediately examined by a dentist right away.

You Already Have a Crooked or Crowded Smile

If you are already dealing with crooked teeth or crowding, then wisdom teeth are only going to shift teeth even more. It’s possible for wisdom teeth to push against or damage other teeth as they come in, particularly if they grow in sideways. If your jaws just aren’t large enough to accommodate your wisdom teeth, then they should be removed to prevent teeth from being pushed together even further.

If you are wondering whether you need your wisdom teeth removed turn to our New Braunfels, TX, dentists today at Mission Hills Dental for the answers you’re looking for. Call us at (830) 625-7322.

By Mission Hill Dental
March 26, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: wisdom teeth  

Find out more about these third set of molars and why they are often removed.

Contrary to their name, wisdom teeth do not bestow people with wisdom. Unfortunately, this third set of molars that usually erupt during a wisdom teethperson’s late teens or early twenties may cause potential issues and will need to be removed as soon as possible. Our Canyon Lake, TX, dentists. Dr. Horacio Lucero and Dr. Fred Willard, can answer all your questions about wisdom teeth and the extraction process.

Does everyone have wisdom teeth?

Actually, not everyone does. While most people will have all four wisdom teeth, there are some that may only develop one, two or three wisdom teeth. Once a year when we perform x-rays during your routine checkup we will be able to check the development of your wisdom teeth.

What problems can wisdom teeth cause?

Many times wisdom teeth do not grow in properly. If they grow in crooked or at an angle they could damage other teeth. Many times wisdom teeth are impacted, which means that they never fully erupt through the gums. This leaves a hole in the gums that could develop an infection. Common symptoms associated with wisdom teeth are pain, tenderness, gum swelling, or discharge (if an infection is present).

Why do wisdom teeth often have to be removed?

As mentioned above, wisdom teeth are often impacted or could lead to crowding if there isn’t enough room for them to grow in. In this case, our Canyon Lake, TX, general dentists will recommend having your wisdom teeth removed.

What’s involved in having my wisdom teeth extracted?

The type of extraction you’ll undergo will depend on whether or not your wisdom teeth are impacted. If teeth are impacted, we will need to section the tooth into pieces before removing. If wisdom teeth are still under the gums we will need to make a small incision in the gums to remove these molars.

What kind of anesthesia is used for this procedure?

This procedure is minor so it doesn’t require general anesthesia. You will receive a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth. In some instances you’ll be under the effects of conscious sedation (also known as “twilight sedation), in which you won’t remember the procedure but will be awake and able to respond to cues from the dentist throughout the surgery.

How long is the recovery process?

The recovery process can vary from about a week to 10 days, but your recovery period may be shorter or longer. This really varies from patient to patient.

No matter whether your wisdom teeth have already started to erupt or not, it’s not a bad idea to consult with our dentists at Mission Hill Dental in Canyon Lake, TX, to find out whether you may benefit from having them removed now or in the future. Call us.

By Mission Hill Dental
October 06, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

When die-hard music fans hear that their favorite performer is canceling a gig, it’s a big disappointment—especially if the excuse seems less than earth-shaking. Recently, British pop sensation Dua Lipa needed to drop two dates from her world tour with Bruno Mars. However, she had a very good reason.

“I’ve been performing with an awful pain due to my wisdom teeth,” the singer tweeted, “and as advised by my dentist and oral surgeon I have had to have them imminently removed.”

The dental problem Lipa had to deal with, impacted wisdom teeth, is not uncommon in young adults. Also called third molars, wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt (emerge from beneath the gums), generally making their appearance between the ages of 18-24. But their debut can cause trouble: Many times, these teeth develop in a way that makes it impossible for them to erupt without negatively affecting the healthy teeth nearby. In this situation, the teeth are called “impacted.”

A number of issues can cause impacted wisdom teeth, including a tooth in an abnormal position, a lack of sufficient space in the jaw, or an obstruction that prevents proper emergence. The most common treatment for impaction is to extract (remove) one or more of the wisdom teeth. This is a routine in-office procedure that may be performed by general dentists or dental specialists.

It’s thought that perhaps 7 out of 10 people ages 20-30 have at least one impacted wisdom tooth. Some cause pain and need to be removed right away; however, this is not always the case. If a wisdom tooth is found to be impacted and is likely to result in future problems, it may be best to have it extracted before symptoms appear. Unfortunately, even with x-rays and other diagnostic tests, it isn’t always possible to predict exactly when—or if—the tooth will actually begin causing trouble. In some situations, the best option may be to carefully monitor the tooth at regular intervals and wait for a clearer sign of whether extraction is necessary.

So if you’re around the age when wisdom teeth are beginning to appear, make sure not to skip your routine dental appointments. That way, you might avoid emergency surgery when you’ve got other plans—like maybe your own world tour!

If you would like more information about wisdom tooth extraction, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”