It’s lucky that wisdom teeth don’t actually make us wiser, since their removal is a rite of passage for so many teens and young adults. But should everyone just assume they’ll need their wisdom teeth extracted? Not necessarily.
The talented and caring dental team at Expressions in Dentistry has extensive experience with not just the wisdom teeth removal procedure, but also in helping to determine whether extraction is necessary for you. We’re dedicated to supporting your oral health and offer a wide range of treatments, including routine care, emergency dentistry, restorations, and cosmetic procedures.
Why do we have wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth earned their moniker because they’re the final teeth to come in, when we’ve (hopefully) acquired some wisdom with age. It’s thought that we needed these extra molars during an earlier stage of human evolution when our food was tough and uncooked, and we didn’t have the luxury of forks and knives to cut our food into smaller manageable bites.
As cooking and the ability to cut our food became common, there was less and less need for this third set of molars.
Even though these teeth are “obsolete” now, young people still experience their eruption anywhere between 18 and 25 years of age, typically.
Do wisdom teeth always need to be removed?
Sometimes wisdom teeth don’t cause any problems, and in this case, no removal is necessary. Interestingly, some people are born either without wisdom teeth or don’t have all four, in which case a dentist would just be concerned with whatever wisdom teeth are present.
However, most people — around 85% — do end up needing their wisdom teeth extracted, because they cause problems:
- Pain develops, thanks to the wisdom teeth putting pressure on the nerves of your mouth
- Gum inflammation emerges in the area of these molars
- Gum redness develops
- Cavities form on wisdom teeth and adjoining teeth because of crowding
- Tooth shifting causes alignment problems
- Infections develop from trapped bacteria in the gums
Wisdom tooth pain can start out as intermittent and not so bad, but can transition into constant, severe pain.
Another common complication is an impacted wisdom tooth, or one that stays buried or hasn’t erupted fully. This may be because your jawbone or teeth prevent the wisdom teeth from coming in.
The symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth include the teeth coming in at unusual angles, either toward other molars or the back of your mouth, or at a right angle to other teeth, so they’re essentially lying flat. They can also place themselves at a right angle but never leave the jawbone.
Food debris is more difficult to remove around an impacted wisdom tooth, leading to infection and tooth decay. Unfortunately, impacted wisdom tooth pain can become serious and lead to infection ultimately.
What should I expect if I have my wisdom teeth removed?
At Expressions in Dentistry, we make your wisdom teeth removal procedure as comfortable, stress-free, and seamless as possible.
Prior to the procedure, you and your dentist decide which level of sedation is right for you — we offer local anesthesia, including two sedation options that calm you during the procedure, and general anesthesia, which allows you to be unconscious during the extraction.
Next, your Expressions in Dentistry dentist makes a minute incision in the gum where the wisdom tooth or teeth you’re having removed are located. Now that your dentist can see your tooth, they carefully remove it, either in pieces or extracting the entire tooth. After that’s completed, they thoroughly clean your treatment area and suture the small incision. All in all, the process is simple and straightforward.
Typically, your dentist removes all your wisdom teeth for good measure, even if only one is giving you trouble. That way, you need not worry about problems down the road.
Patients need an assigned driver to accompany them for the procedure, and once home, you may experience a bit of mild bleeding, sensitivity, and some swelling, but these usually resolve within days.
You’re in the best hands here at Expressions in Dentistry if you need your wisdom teeth removed.
Call our Folsom office at 916-983-6767 to make an appointment for relief from wisdom tooth pain today, or use our convenient online booking tool. For your convenience, our office is open six days a week, and we offer our own popular dental coverage.