5 Signs You Need A Root Canal

Root canals may have a scary reputation, but they’re a routine dental procedure that can help you avoid a costly tooth extraction down the line. Thanks to modern technology, root canals are no longer the painful production of decades past. Still, there are too many people who are so afraid of the dentist that they’ll ignore potentially serious symptoms until it’s too late.

Our Grand Rapids, MI root canal dentist wants you to know what symptoms to look out for so you’ll know when it’s time to come in for a visit.

Signs You Need a Root Canal

5 Symptoms of an Infected Tooth

It’s important to understand you may not see any signs that you need an emergency root canal until it’s too late to save the tooth. For this reason, it’s important to see Dr. Ritzema every 6 months for routine dental checkups. During your preventative dental appointment, we’ll be able to examine your mouth and take dental x-rays to make sure there are no cavities.

There are a few main symptoms of tooth infections that could require a root canal procedure.

Call Dr. Ritzema if you notice:

  • Severe toothache
  • Prolonged sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Tooth darkening in color

 

  • Abscess (or pimple) on the gums
  • Swollen gums

The Root Canal Procedure

The goal of the root canal procedure is to save an abscessed tooth so it won’t need to be extracted. This means that Dr. Ritzema will need to remove the decaying tooth nerve, along with the infected tooth pulp. Without root canal treatment, the tooth would die and need to be extracted.

First, Dr. Ritzema will need to locally anesthetize the tooth so you won’t feel any pain during the root canal procedure. You’ll feel a slight pinch as our team injects the pain reliever. Next, he will drill a small hole near the top of the tooth.

Once a sufficient opening has been made, Dr. Ritzema will remove the infected dental pulp from the inside of your tooth. For good measure, he may flush the inside of your tooth with water and anti-microbial solution to make sure any remaining pulp and bacteria is removed.

We’ll create your root canal crown in-office using CEREC technology so you’ll leave with your smile intact.

What to Do if You Have a Toothache

If your tooth is starting to hurt, it’s important to call our root canal dentist as soon as possible. Dr. Ritzema will be able to take dental x-rays and examine your teeth so they can properly diagnose the problem. You should always schedule an appointment with Dr. Ritzema at the first sign of dental discomfort. Be sure to describe your symptoms to the person answering your call so they can determine whether emergency dental care is appropriate for your situation.

At Complete Health Dentistry, our Grand Rapids, MI root canal dentist will do everything in his power to save an abscessed tooth. If you have a severe toothache and suspect you need an emergency root canal, you can make an appointment by calling (616) 458-7267.

4 Benefits Of CEREC Crowns

Crowns are a great way to restore the appearance of a damaged tooth, but at most dental offices you’ll have to wait weeks before your restoration is ready. At Complete Health Dentistry, our Grand Rapids crown dentist offers same-day crowns with the use of CEREC technology.

CEREC is a machine that can sculpt a new crown right here in our office, meaning you can walk out of your appointment with a restored smile in just one appointment. Here are just 5 of the benefits of CEREC crowns.

CEREC Crown Benefits

Digital Teeth Impressions

Many people can’t tolerate pink impression putty because it triggers their gag reflex. Fortunately, our dentist uses a slim hand-held device to take pictures of your teeth and gums, creating a digital impression instead. Not only are digital dental impressions less invasive than trays filled with goop, but they’re more accurate. The scanner takes precise digital impressions so we can create a same day crown that fits perfectly over your tooth.

Same-Day Service

In the past, patients had to wait weeks for an off-site lab to create dental crowns. Fortunately, Dr. Ritzema is always looking for ways to improve your experience as a patient, which is why he started using CEREC to streamline the dental crown procedure. A CEREC crown can be made in one appointment so you can leave our office smiling with confidence.

After our dentist takes impressions of your teeth, he’ll start designing your dental crown right in front of your eyes using CAD/CAM (computer-aided design and manufacturing) software. Once our dentist is satisfied with the look and fit of your CEREC crown, he’ll send it to the milling machine in our office.

The milling machine will sculpt your new tooth crown from a block of ceramic or other tooth-colored materials. Since we’re able to create same day crowns right in our office, you’ll never have to deal with the hassle of a temporary crown ever again.

No Temps Needed

As temporary crowns must eventually be removed, most dentists can’t secure them with the strongest adhesive. As a result, it’s common for temporary crowns to fall out before the permanent restoration is ready. Our same day dentist understands that temporary crowns are a hassle for patients, which is why he uses CEREC. Since your crown is created and placed in one appointment, you can avoid the discomfort of a temporary crown.

Natural Feel and Appearance

CEREC crown is durable enough to last for years to come. This means that you can smile with confidence knowing that your tooth restorationlooks and feels natural. It has always been our goal to help patients feel comfortable with their smiles, which is why we provide same day dental crowns.

CEREC same day crown looks just as natural as those crowns created in labs. Once our dentist retrieves your crown from the milling machine, he’ll check the color, shade, and fit before bonding the dental crown to your tooth. Since the digital dental impressions are highly precise, we often make little to no alterations.

Our Grand Rapids, MI dental crowns dentist uses CEREC technology to make your experience as convenient as possible. To schedule your appointment, call Complete Health Dentistry at (616) 458-7267.

Teeth Grinding Guards?

Do you ever wake up with a sore jaw or headache? If so, you may be grinding your teeth at night. Over time, teeth grinding wears away tooth enamel and puts you at higher risk for tooth fractures, TMJ disorders, or even tooth loss.

Continue reading to learn how to spot the signs of bruxism and whether you need a teeth grinding guard. For more information, we recommend reaching out to our Grand Rapids dentist at Complete Health Dentistry that can create a night guard for teeth grinding.

 

What is bruxism?

Bruxism is the medical term for grinding or clenching teeth. Many people are unaware that they grind their teeth at night until it’s brought up by their dentist during their routine dental exam. Your partner may also alert you to teeth grinding if it’s loud enough to wake them up at night.

Symptoms of bruxism include:

  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Headaches
  • Earaches
  • Jaw pain
  • Neck pain
  • Tooth pain
  • Fractured, chipped, or loose teeth
  • TMJ disorders

The force exerted from teeth grinding overworks your jaw muscles so you wake up feeling sore. If left untreated, bruxism can wear down your teeth to the point where your dentist recommends you get porcelain crowns or other tooth restorations to repair your smile. Thankfully, a night guard protects your smile from teeth grinding and saves you money in the long run.

How does a night guard work?

A night guard is an oral appliance you wear while you sleep that forms a protective layer between your upper and lower teeth. During your first appointment, your dentist will take dental impressions and send them to the lab where your bruxism guard will be made.

Once your night guard for teeth is ready, you will be called back to your dentist’s office. Before sending you home with your new night guard, your dentist may make slight adjustments to the fit so you can breathe and sleep comfortably.

Why should I get a night guard?

bruxism mouth guard is one of the best ways you can protect your smile from teeth grinding. If you are tired of waking up with jaw or neck pain, you’ll want to ask your dentist about getting a mouth guard. You might be surprised how well-rested you’ll feel after your first night wearing a dental night guard. Teeth grinding is a hard habit to kick, especially if you’re under a lot of stress. Thankfully, a night guard can protect your smile so you can get a good night’s sleep.

Night guards also help you save money in the long run because they help you avoid paying for expensive tooth restorations. For example, you may need a dental crown to repair a broken tooth. It costs much less in the long run to get a night mouth guard than it does to pay to repair teeth damaged by bruxism.

Dr. Ritzema DDS at Complete Health Dentistry is dedicated to helping you maintain a healthy smile by offering custom night guards and other preventative dentistry services. To schedule an appointment with our Grand Rapids dentist, call our office at (616) 458-7267.

Dental Mouth Guard Facts

If you or your child has ever played contact sports, you know that sports mouth guards are absolutely essential for keeping teeth protected. However, many athletes still suffer dental trauma while wearing mouth guards that don’t fit correctly or have become worn over time.

In this blog post, our Grand Rapids dentist at Complete Health Dentistry will go over the 7 facts about mouth guards your sports dentist wants you to know.

 

1.) Mouth guards protect teeth from impact damage.

Playing contact sports like football or hockey puts you at an increased risk for dental damage, which is why we recommend you always wear a dental mouth guard when you play. Mouth guards work by forming a protective layer over your teeth while playing contact sports. That way, your teeth will still be intact if you receive a blow to the face. Don’t let your game time get cut short by a trip to your emergency dentist. Invest in a well-fitting dental guard today.

2.) Sports mouth guards save you money.

If you play contact sports on a regular basis, it’s worth the money to get a custom-fit mouth guard. Vacuum-formed mouth guards or pressure laminated mouth guards offer the best dental protection against blows to the face. The cost of an athletic mouth guard pales in comparison to what it would cost to repair a damaged or missing tooth. Dental restorations like tooth crowns, implants, and veneers can be avoided by wearing a mouth guard.

3.) Stock mouth guards offer minimal protection.

If you plan on playing a contact sport for an entire season, it’s well worth the investment to get a custom mouth guard. When you practice a contact sport for several hours a day there are many opportunities for dental trauma. Unfortunately, the stock mouth guards you find at the sporting goods store aren’t customized to your bite and may fit too tightly or loosely. When a mouth guard doesn’t fit right, it offers less protection and feels uncomfortable.

4.) Mouth guards should be replaced every 6 months.

Your mouth guard will wear down over time until the material is no longer thick enough to be considered protective. When this happens, your custom mouth guard will be ineffective for protecting your teeth from strong blows.

5.) Mouth guards only protect upper teeth.

If you or your child needs to wear a mouth guard for the first time, you might be surprised to learn that you only need a mouth guard for the top teeth. An exception to this rule is if you wear braces or another fixed dental appliance on your lower teeth.

6.) You can still wear a mouth guard with braces.

If you have braces, you’ll need a braces mouth guard that fits properly. A mouth guard that is too tight will prevent your braces from moving teeth into optimal alignment. A loose mouth guard can snag on your braces during impact to cause tooth and orthodontic damage. For the best fit, we recommend asking an experienced dentist to make a vacuum-formed or pressure laminated mouth guard.

7.) Mouth guards need to be washed after every use.

Bacteria love to live in the dark nooks and crannies of your teeth guard, which is why you’ll need to clean it out after every use. Simply scrub out the mouth guard with a toothbrush and rinse under cold water before storing it in a dry ventilated container. Clean your mouth guard after every use to remove harmful bacteria.

Dr. Ritzema DDS and his staff at Complete Health Dentistry are dedicated to giving you the best mouth guard to protect your smile. If you are interested in getting a football mouth guard or a mouth guard for a different sport, schedule an appointment with our dentist in Grand Rapids at (616) 458-7267.

Replacing A Mouth Guard?

If you are an athlete who plays contact sports, it’s important you get the right mouth guard to protect your teeth. However, did you know that you also need to replace your sports mouth guard when it starts wearing out? If you play or practice contact sports several hours a day, it doesn’t take long to deform or wear down the protective material.

A visit with an experienced sports dentist at Complete Health Dentistry can help you determine whether dental mouth guard replacement is necessary.

 

You’ve reached the end of the season.

We recommend you visit your dentist to replace your teeth guard after every season or every six months. Research shows that mouth guards become less effective when they lose their thickness. This is because there is less protective material to absorb external impact and protect your teeth from injury. You will also want to replace your mouth guard when the dental warranty runs out. This is because it is no longer guaranteed to protect teeth from sports dental injury.

Mouth guard is damaged.

It’s not uncommon for athletes to take out their mouth guards and chew on them. However, over time this can cause the custom mouth guard to fray or deform. To prevent your mouth guard from wearing out prematurely, it’s important to stop yourself from forming bad habits.

If you see other athletes chewing on mouth guards, don’t follow their example. Otherwise, you may have to replace your dental guard sooner than you think. The mouth guard can also become deformed when you wedge it into a face mask.

Your mouth is still growing.

For child or teenage athletes, it’s important you replace their mouth guard every six months or at the end of their sports season. This is because their mouths are still growing and will require a mouth guard that fits properly.

Even if your child doesn’t play contact sports on a regular basis, you’ll still need to replace their mouth guard when their jaw grows or teeth shift. Teeth also shift during orthodontic treatment. If your child plays several contact sports, it may be more convenient to have a dentist make their new mouth guards during their six-month dental checkup.

Your bite has changed.

If you’ve recently had dental restorations that changed your bite, you will need a new mouth guard. In order to protect your teeth, it’s important that the fit of your custom sports mouth guard not be too tight or loose. You should also make sure that your athletic mouth guard covers the entire outer surface of your teeth. Likewise, you will also need to replace your mouth guard if you’ve recently experienced tooth loss.

Nick Ritzema DDS and his staff at Complete Health Dentistry are dedicated to helping you protect your smile with the best mouth guard. If you are interested in getting a football mouth guard or a mouth guard for a different sport, schedule an appointment with our Grand Rapids sports dentist at (616) 458-7267.

Crowns Vs. Fillings

If your Grand Rapids dentist discovers a cavity during your next teeth cleaning, they’ll recommend either a dental crown or filling to restore the tooth to its original strength.

If you’re given the choice, do you know which is better for your smile? If you’ve ever wondered how crowns and tooth fillings are different, now’s your chance to find out before your next appointment.

 

Crowns vs. Fillings

Crowns

  • Covers decayed teeth
  • Severely damaged or decayed tooth
  • Completed in 2 dental visits
  • Requires impressions
  • More expensive

Fillings

  • Fills in decayed teeth
  • Minor tooth damage or decay
  • Completed in 1 dental visit
  • No impressions
  • More affordable

When You Need a Dental Crown

Dental crowns are sometimes called “tooth caps” by our patients because they cover the entire visible portion of your tooth above the gum line. Your dentist may recommend porcelain crowns for teeth left fragile after repeated dental procedures. In other words, a tooth crown prevents further damage and sensitivity.

If you need a front tooth crown, your dentist will be especially careful to make sure the shade of the crown matches the rest of your smile and looks natural. In fact, some of our patients choose dental crowns for teeth that are discolored, which would make it a cosmetic dentistry procedure.

To get a dental crown, you’ll need to schedule two separate appointments at your family dentistry. During the first appointment, your dentist will prepare the receiving tooth by filing down excess enamel before taking impressions. These impressions are then sent to the lab where your dental crown will be made.

In the meantime, your dentist will place a temporary crown to protect the tooth. When you come back for your second appointment, your dentist will replace the temporary crown with the permanent tooth restoration. Since the dental crown procedure takes two visits to your dentist, it costs more than getting a simple filling.

When You Need a Filling

Tooth cavity fillings are used to fill the hole left in your tooth after your dentist drills decayed tooth matter. However, a filling can also be used to repair a small chip in your tooth. During the procedure, your family dentist will drill to remove any decayed tooth matter and will then fill in the tooth with dental amalgam or composite resin. Composite fillings (also called tooth-colored fillings) are typically used for teeth that show when you smile or speak. Unlike crowns, fillings only take one visit to complete, which also makes them less expensive.

Whether you choose crowns or fillings will depend on your unique circumstances and how much time and money you are willing to spend. If you are unsure which treatment is best for you, schedule an appointment at a dentist office near you.

Dr. Ritzema DDS at Complete Health Dentistry has dedicated his career to providing patients with the highest level of dental care. If you are interested in learning more about our general and cosmetic dentistry services, schedule an appointment with our dentist in Grand Rapids at (616) 458-7267.

Root Canals & Abscesses?

When a tooth needs a root canal it’s because the tooth pulp inside has become infected. If left untreated, tooth decay can permanently damage the tooth or even cause the tooth to die.

If you have a persistent toothache and suspect you need a root canal, we recommend you contact an Grand Rapids emergency dentist near you.

In this blog post, we will explain how your tooth might have become abscessed and the kind of restorative dentistry needed to save an abscessed tooth.

What is an Abscessed Tooth?

You’ll know your tooth is abscessed when you feel an ache in the bone around the tooth. Other symptoms of an abscessed tooth include swelling or redness of the gums, painful gums, fever, and having a bad taste in your mouth. If you recognize these signs you need a root canal, we recommend calling your dentist to schedule an emergency appointment.

Abscessed teeth happen when your tooth has decayed enough for infection to breach the dental pulp inside your tooth. Once the tooth pulp is infected, it can create an abscess in the gums around the tooth. An abscess is a swollen area in your gums that contains pus.

If left untreated, an abscessed tooth can cause the tooth and jawbone to deteriorate, creating further pain and damage to your smile. The abscess can also push the tooth upwards, making it looser and more vulnerable to falling out.

What Damages Tooth Pulp?

Tooth pulp is the live tissue inside your teeth. Most of us can go for years without even thinking about tooth pulp until you experience dental discomfort or pain. Tooth pulp can become infected or inflamed when the tooth undergoes repeated dental procedures. Tooth injuries (such as cracks and chips) and severe tooth decay can also damage the dental pulp in your teeth.

What Happens During a Root Canal Procedure?

The treatment for an abscessed tooth depends on its severity. If you catch an abscessed tooth in its early stages, your dentist can treat it with antibiotics or by draining the pus. However, if the tooth becomes infected, your dentist will need to do root canal therapy to save the tooth from dying. Your dentist will be able to walk you through the root canal treatment steps so you know what to expect.

The first thing your root canal dentist will do is locally anesthetize the area around the tooth so you don’t experience any pain during the procedure. Next, your Grand Rapids dentist will use a small drill or other dental tool to create a small hole near the top of the infected tooth. Through this hole, your dentist will be able to access the inside of your tooth to clear away the damaged and diseased dental pulp.

For good measure, your dentist may flush the inside of the tooth with water and an antimicrobial solution to make sure any remaining pulp is removed. The root canal procedure usually takes two visits to the dentist. A temporary filling is used to seal the hole until your permanent root canal crown is ready to be placed. The permanent crown will be placed when you come back for your second appointment.

Dr. Ritzema DDS at Complete Health Dentistry does everything in his power to save an abscessed tooth. If you have a severe toothache and suspect you need an emergency root canal, be sure to call our Grand Rapids family dentist at (616) 458-7267.

Wisdom Teeth Questions

Did you know that approximately 85% of Americans have their wisdom teeth pulled? Wisdom teeth are the third molars that emerge between the ages of 16 and 20. When your dentist sees that your wisdom teeth are going to cause issues for the rest of your teeth, they may recommend wisdom teeth removal. When so many people have to have their wisdom teeth extracted, it makes you wonder why wisdom teeth are needed at all. Why do we have wisdom teeth? The answer may just lie in our ancestry.

Why did our ancestors have wisdom teeth?

The most widely accepted theory behind wisdom teeth asks us to look to the diet of our distant ancestors for answers. Early humans ate a much different diet than the soft foods we eat today. Our ancestors lived off a diet that consisted of roots, raw meat, and tough plants. To help them grind these tough foods, they developed a third set of molars and larger jaws to accommodate the extra teeth.

Today, humans have smaller jaws and eat much softer foods. However, our genes still produce wisdom teeth that no longer have room to grow. When wisdom teeth don’t have room to properly emerge through the gum line, they can come in at odd angles or even horizontally. In other words, impacted wisdom teeth can cause a lot of damage to your smile and undo years of orthodontics.

Do I need wisdom tooth extraction?

Your dentist will be able to look at your x-rays to determine if you’ll need wisdom tooth removal. Wisdom teeth don’t form until around the age of 10 and don’t emerge until early adulthood. This means that your dentist will have plenty of time to monitor the angles of the wisdom teeth and determine whether there’s enough space in your jaw to accommodate the extra teeth.

Wisdom teeth that are coming in crooked or are expected to crowd permanent teeth must be removed as soon as possible. If your jawbone is too small to accommodate wisdom teeth, these teeth may become trapped under the surface of the gum or may only partially erupt. In these scenarios, an impacted wisdom tooth can weaken bone structure, undo years of orthodontic treatment, and cause pain and infection.

Does everyone need wisdom tooth extraction?

While most people have wisdom teeth removal during early adulthood, there are some people who are able to keep some or all of their wisdom teeth. If your wisdom teeth are coming in straight and there’s enough space in the jaw, your dentist may tell you that a wisdom tooth extraction isn’t necessary.

Each patient’s dental history is unique, which is why your dentist will need to look at your x-rays to determine if you are able to keep your wisdom teeth. Your dentist will be able to show you x-rays of your teeth and explain the situation in a way that is easy for you to understand. That way, you’ll be able to schedule wisdom teeth surgery before an impacted tooth causes oral health issues.

Dr. Ritzema DDS and his team are dedicated to helping you maintain good oral health through wisdom tooth extraction and other restorative dentistry services. To schedule your appointment with our Grand Rapids dentist, call Complete Health Dentistry at (616) 458-7267.

5 Restorations For Your Smile

If you have ever felt self-conscious about your teeth, you owe it to yourself to schedule an appointment with a cosmetic dentist. A Grand Rapids cosmetic dentist will be able to offer a full range of services to help you restore the appearance and function of your smile.

In this blog post, we will explain how different types of dental restorations work so you can make an informed decision for your smile.

 

What are dental restorations?

Like the name suggests, dental restorations are designed to restore your teeth to their original strength and appearance before tooth decay or dental injury happened. Dental restorations can be classified as either “direct” or “indirect”.

Direct dental restorations are applied directly to fill an existing tooth. For example, fillings are used to fill teeth after cavities are removed. Indirect restorations are made in a lab before being applied to your teeth and are usually reserved for teeth with significant damage from decay or injury. For example, dental crowns are made in a lab based on your dental impressions.

What are the different types of dental restorations?

Besides improving self-esteem, dental restorations can also make it easier for you to eat and speak. Dental restorations can also prevent further damage to your smile. For example, a dental implant fills in the gap caused by a missing tooth, which prevents further tooth loss. Below, we describe the different types of dental restorations in more detail.

  1. FillingsIf your dentist finds tooth decay during your next dental checkup, you’ll need a filling to save the tooth. Fillings come in a variety of materials, which include silver amalgam fillings and composite resin fillings. We recommend composite resin fillings for teeth that are visible when talking or smiling. However, they can also be used for molars (back teeth). Teeth with large cavities may also need a dental crown overtop the filling to keep the tooth structurally sound.
  2. DenturesIf you are missing multiple teeth from your smile, you may want to consider wearing complete or partial dentures. Dentures are essentially removable false teeth. While living with dentures takes some getting used to, many of our patients appreciate being able to speak and eat better than they did with missing teeth.
  3. CrownsDental crowns (also called “tooth caps” by some of our patients) are used to restore teeth with significant tooth decay or dental injury. Your dentist may also recommend a porcelain crown to strengthen a tooth that has been weakened by root canal therapy or multiple dental restorations. Dental crowns cover the entire visible portion of your tooth above the gum line to give you the appearance and function of natural tooth enamel.
  4. BridgesDental bridges are used to bridge the gap in your smile after losing a tooth. A dental bridge comprises a false tooth secured in place by crowns on either side. In order to be a candidate for dental bridges, the gap in your smile must be surrounded by healthy natural teeth or dental implants. A dental bridge will be able to restore your smile so it looks beautiful and natural.
  5. ImplantsDental implant surgery involves a dentist inserting a titanium rod into your jawbone to act as an artificial tooth root. You will then have to wait several months for the implant to fuse to your jawbone in a process called osseointegration. Once your jawbone has healed, your Grand Rapids dentist will place an abutment and porcelain crown over the implant to give you the look and function of a natural tooth. While the dental implant procedure takes several months, many of our patients feel as though it is worth having a smile that feels natural.

Dr. Ritzema DDS at Complete Health Dentistry is dedicated to helping patients achieve their best smile and good oral health. If you are interested in restoring your smile through dental implants, bridges, dental crowns, or other dental restorations, be sure to give our dentist in Grand Rapids a call at (616) 458-7267.

Wisdom Teeth & Oral Health

If you thought you were done with having new teeth push through your gum line, think again. Wisdom teeth (a set of third molars) typically erupt between the ages of 17 and 25.

While some people are able to keep their wisdom teeth, others may require wisdom teeth removal to prevent crowding, cavities, and infections.

In this blog post, the Grand Rapids dentist at Complete Health Dentistry explain how wisdom teeth removal can protect your oral health.

It’s necessary to remove wisdom teeth when:

  • You have impacted (crooked) wisdom teeth.
  • There’s no room in your mouth for wisdom teeth.
  • Wisdom teeth are stuck underneath the gum line or have partially erupted.

For more information on the wisdom teeth removal procedure, we would recommend scheduling a consultation with your family dentist.

Prevents Tooth Decay

Many people just don’t have enough room in their mouth for extra teeth. When this happens, wisdom teeth have nowhere to go and will push other teeth out of the way to make room. Thankfully, your dentist can use x-rays to track the path your wisdom teeth will take before this happens. Wisdom teeth begin to form around age 10.

Impacted wisdom teeth can push surrounding teeth out of alignment, making it difficult to brush and floss. Since crowded teeth give plaque more places to hide (out of reach of your toothbrush), you are at a higher risk for cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues. Teeth that are crooked and overlap with other teeth also make it difficult to remove food particles, which are a food source for the bacteria in plaque.

Protects the Smile You Got After Years of Orthodontics

After years of orthodontics, the last thing you want is for your wisdom teeth to create new issues with bite and alignment. If you don’t have enough room in your jaw to accommodate wisdom teeth, your tooth extraction dentist will recommend wisdom tooth removalPre-emptive wisdom tooth extraction can protect your beautiful smile from crowding and crooked teeth.

Protects You from Infections

If there isn’t enough room for wisdom teeth to break through the gum line, an infection can fester around the tooth. For example, cysts (pockets of pus) can develop around non-erupting wisdom teeth. If a wisdom tooth has partially erupted from the gum line, you may be at risk for a type of bacterial infection called pericoronitis. Pericoronitis happens when the gums surrounding the impacted tooth become swollen and infected.

To recap, wisdom teeth will need to be removed if they are impacted or stuck beneath the gum line. You may also need wisdom teeth removed if your jaw is too small to accommodate the extra teeth. Keep in mind that not all people need their wisdom teeth removed. If your dentist sees that your wisdom teeth are coming straight down into a jaw with plenty of space, you can live with wisdom teeth while still maintaining good oral health.

Dr. Ritzema DDS at Complete Health Dentistry works hard to help patients maintain beautiful healthy smiles through complete dental treatments. If you are concerned about the effect erupting wisdom teeth will have on your smile, schedule a consultation with our dentist in Grand Rapids, MI at (616) 458-7267.