Top 10 Wisdom Teeth Questions Answered
Wisdom teeth extraction is a common procedure. It is almost considered to be a right of passage, as most people will need to have their wisdom teeth extracted. If you’re wondering if you need to have your wisdom teeth extracted, or if you are already scheduled for the procedure, you have some questions. Here are the top 10 wisdom teeth questions answered.
1.What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that develop behind the 12 year molars. They are the largest molars in a person’s mouth. Most people will have 4 wisdom teeth that form in the back of their jaw.
2.Why Are They Called Wisdom Teeth?
The third set of molars are called wisdom teeth because they typically develop in the late teenage years or in early adulthood as young people start to mature. Wisdom teeth will usually form sometime between the ages of 17 and 25 for most people.
3.Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need To Be Extracted?
Most of the time wisdom teeth are too large to exist comfortably in a person’s mouth. As humans have evolved, our jaws are not as large as they once were when wisdom teeth were necessary for survival. More primitive humans used to eat raw meat and their food often contained sticks and other natural debris that required the wisdom teeth to chew effectively.
Now that we are civilized enough to cook our food and be more discerning about what we eat, our wisdom teeth are no longer necessary and our jaws often don’t have room to accommodate them. This causes wisdom teeth to come in at an angle or become impacted, meaning they are trapped below the gums and under the 12 year molars. Wisdom teeth will push against the back molars, causing damage and crowding of the other teeth.
4.Do All Wisdom Teeth Need To Be Extracted?
In some cases wisdom teeth come in properly because a person has room for them. In these cases it is usually safe to let the wisdom teeth remain in place. However, frequent monitoring during routine dental visits is important in case they become a problem.
5.Do I Need To Be Asleep For Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
The type of anesthesia required for wisdom teeth extraction depends on the situation. Wisdom teeth that are visible above the gums may be able to be extracted with just local anesthesia. If the teeth are impacted they will be more difficult to remove, and IV sedation may be necessary.
6.What is Recovery Like?
Patients may need to rest for the first 24-48 hours after wisdom teeth extraction, especially if sedation was used. Prescription pain medication may be prescribed, but in many cases over the counter medication is sufficient.
7.What Can I Eat After Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
Good nutrition and adequate fluid intake are important after surgery. Start off with cool liquids and soft foods. This is to prevent you from burning or biting your lip, cheek, or tongue. Suggestions are scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, pudding, pasta, milkshakes, and yogurt. We encourage you to resume your normal diet as soon as possible. Avoid straws for one week.
8.What is Dry Socket?
Dry socket occurs when the blood clot comes loose from the socket, exposing the tissue and nerves that are underneath. Drinking from a straw can cause this as the sucking motion can dislodge the clot. If you experience severe pain, contact your oral surgeon.
9.Is Wisdom Teeth Extraction Painful?
The procedure itself is not painful at all. Various forms of anesthesia may be used from local anesthetic to IV sedation to ensure your comfort.
10.What Happens If I Don’t Get My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
If you choose not to have your wisdom teeth removed when your dentist or oral surgeon recommends it, you may experience a variety of problems, such as damaged teeth, orthodontic issues, and gum disease.