Our wisdom teeth or third molars are generally the last of our adult teeth to emerge. Usually in our teens or early twenties.
We generally have four wisdom teeth in total.
During the cave man era our ancestor’s jaws were much larger, allowing plenty of space for these final teeth to come through. They used these broad teeth to grind down plant matter and meats which were hunted.
As agriculture evolved, our need for wisdom teeth lessened, and so did our available jaw space.
Despite these changes most of us continue to be born with them.
The Trouble with Wisdom Teeth
When wisdom teeth do erupt they are so far back into the mouth they are extremely difficult to care for with simple brushing and flossing. Also the gum is generally partially loose, allowing food to become trapped, causing infection, which usually requires antibiotic treatment.
If the jaw does not have enough room for the wisdom teeth to come through, the tooth will become impacted. Some impacted wisdom teeth cause no problems. However, other impacted wisdom teeth may cause severe problems. The impacted tooth will routinely create pain and inflammation as it attempts to move through the gum.
It is not common for people to live with the intermittent pain and moderate infection for years before finally seeking treatment.
When you have your wisdom teeth out
Removal of troublesome wisdom teeth should be done as soon as possible. This reduces the likelihood of infection and it also protects you from developing the feeling of tension in the jaw and compacted teeth.
Our dentist will take x-rays. As well as an OPG x-ray to determine the position of the wisdom teeth.
If it is an extremely difficult cases, you may be referred to an oral maxillofacial surgeon for removal.
Wisdom tooth extraction
Removal of a wisdom tooth is a very common procedure. Our dentists will talk you through the tooth extraction process so you know what to expect. They will also explain your post procedure and care plan, and write you a prescription for pain relief.
In terms of removing the tooth you will not feel any pain as the area will be numbed. It is surprisingly a quick procedure and will not be required at the clinic very long.