Dr. Sheehan and an assistant working on a patient's teeth as he lays back in the treatment chair

Alternatives to Wisdom Teeth Removal

Are Your Wisdom Teeth Giving You Problems?

Wisdom teeth, the third set of molars that often emerge during your late teens or early twenties, can present a range of problems that may lead to the recommendation of extraction. But what if there was another way? Our board-certified Waterford dentist explores alternatives to wisdom teeth removal, focusing on less invasive solutions that can help you maintain your oral health without the need for extraction.

Contact Oakland Family Dental today by calling (248) 674-0384 for an appointment.

woman looking at her teeth in pain in the mirror

Possible Wisdom Teeth Issues

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

An impacted wisdom tooth can’t erupt properly due to a lack of space in the jaw. Failure to treat an impacted tooth may result in:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Infection
  • Damage to surrounding teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay


The chance of infections increases with impacted or partially erupted wisdom teeth, as the surrounding gum tissue can become inflamed, leading to facial swelling and pain.


Overcrowding can arise when wisdom teeth develop at an angle and push against other teeth, causing misalignment and potential extraction. In some cases, the pressure from the wisdom teeth can lead to discomfort and dental issues, including infection and nerve damage.

dentist showing their patient their X-rays

Alternatives to Tooth Extraction


Coronectomy is a dental procedure that removes the crown of the impacted wisdom tooth while leaving the roots intact, reducing the risk of nerve damage associated with full extraction. This procedure is typically recommended for patients when the wisdom tooth is impacted and impinges on the lingual nerve or inferior alveolar nerve, which provides sensation to the tongue, lips, and chin.

While a coronectomy can mitigate nerve damage risk, it’s vital to remember that the risk isn’t eliminated. A consultation with a dental professional is necessary to ascertain if you’re an ideal candidate for coronectomy.


Orthodontic solutions, such as braces or clear aligners (like Invisalign), can help address overcrowding and misalignment issues without requiring wisdom tooth extraction. By realigning the teeth and jaws, orthodontic treatments can improve the appearance of the teeth and overall oral health.

Monitoring and Maintenance

Monitoring and maintaining the health of wisdom teeth is crucial. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings can help prevent complications caused by wisdom teeth, such as infection, impaction, or overcrowding. Wisdom teeth removal may be necessary if complications arise.

In addition to professional dental care, proper oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing, can help prevent potential issues with wisdom teeth.

Always Consult With Dental Professionals

When dealing with wisdom teeth issues, make sure to seek advice from dental professionals to decide the most suitable course of action. Our Waterford dental professionals can provide valuable insight into the risks and benefits associated with different treatments, allowing you to make an informed decision that’s best for your oral health.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if you don’t want your wisdom teeth removed?

If your wisdom teeth are healthy, fully erupted, positioned correctly, and able to be cleaned, then you don’t need to remove them. Taking proper care of them is the best way to keep them healthy.

How can I monitor and maintain my wisdom teeth?

Regular check-ups and cleanings, combined with good oral hygiene practices, are key to monitoring and maintaining your wisdom teeth. Following this advice can help reduce the need for extraction.

Schedule Your Appointment Today!

Tooth extraction may not always be the only solution to address problems with wisdom teeth. There are a few alternative treatments that may better suit your needs. If you need to have your wisdom teeth evaluated, contact our Waterford dentist today by calling (248) 674-0384 to schedule an appointment.