What Are Wisdom Teeth?

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

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Wisdom Teeth Extraction | Dentist showing patient x-rays.

If you’ve ever wondered if there is an emergency extraction dentist near me, the answer is yes. Although no one wants to have teeth extracted, it is actually very common to have one’s wisdom teeth taken out.

Some time in early adulthood, most adults will have a third set of molars emerge. They are commonly known as wisdom teeth. Since they are the last teeth to emerge, they are given the name wisdom teeth. Presumably, you are more wise after they arrive.

Why must wisdom teeth be extracted?

The jaws of humans have become smaller over time. It is believed that once the human brain became larger, the jaw became smaller to make room for this additional space.

As human jaws have grown smaller, this led to a lack of room in the mouth for all of the teeth.

Some common problems associated with wisdom teeth include:

  • Crowded or crooked teeth
  • Sideways growth of wisdom teeth
  • Increased risk of tooth decay
  • Jaw pain

According to the American Dental Association, wisdom teeth extraction is necessary when any of the above conditions are present.

Must all of my wisdom teeth be extracted?

Not every wisdom tooth must be extracted. If one cleanly erupts through gum tissue without negatively impacting a neighboring tooth, it can be left alone, as long as the patient can effectively brush and floss around the tooth. However, wisdom teeth can change over time. So it is important that they are reevaluated periodically by a dental professional to determine if any action should be taken.

There are also cases where wisdom teeth may be painful, but an extraction can be avoided by modifying surrounding tissues. For example, a small portion of gum tissue may be covering a tooth that causes pain when biting down. The situation may be remedied by removing this gum tissue.

What can I expect if I need a wisdom tooth extracted?

After determining that a wisdom tooth requires extraction, your dentist or oral surgeon will provide local anesthesia to make the process completely pain free. Next, a surgical procedure is performed to remove bone and tissue from around the wisdom tooth, allowing it to be cleanly extracted.

Some stitches may be required to seal the area for the promotion of healing. These could be biodegradable stitches that dissolve on their own within a few days. Otherwise, the stitches would require removal by the dentist or surgeon following a specific period of time.

What is the recovery process like following wisdom teeth extraction?

It normally takes around four days to complete the initial healing and recovery from a wisdom tooth extraction. It is normal to experience some temporary, minor bleeding from the surgical site, which should begin easing following the first 24 hours.

Any post-operative discomfort can normally be relieved using an over-the-counter pain medication. A cold compress can also be used to minimize swelling. You may be advised to eat only soft food for a few days after your wisdom tooth extraction.

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Schedule a consultation with Liberia Dental Care to learn more about wisdom teeth extraction. New patients are always welcome!

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