Are you or a loved one getting your wisdom teeth, or your third set of molars? Are your wisdom teeth crowding your existing teeth, or coming in sideways? Or maybe they’re even impacted? Are you wondering why you get wisdom teeth to begin with? At Union Oral Surgery, Periodontics and I
Why Do We Get Wisdom Teeth in the First Place?
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons like our doctors consider wisdom teeth to be something of a human relic. Centuries ago, our ancestors didn’t have access to the same high-quality dental care that residents have today. Among multiple theories is the fact that many of our ancestors lost teeth in their youth. Fortunately, around their teenage years or early twenties, a third set of molars would erupt through their gums, oftentimes providing them with the oral functionality they had lost due to missing teeth. Another theory is that we have evolved to a point where our diet no longer requires powerful chewing and that the size of our jaws has decreased compared to our ancestors. As a result, we do not have sufficient room to accommodate wisdom, teeth.
Do We Need Our Wisdom Teeth Today?
Many residents come to our doctors asking if they need to keep their wisdom teeth. Although every situation is unique and must be evaluated, the answer is oftentimes no, the wisdom teeth are not going to be useful. Because modern day americans have access to advanced dental and periodontal care, they don’t lose their natural teeth at the rate our ancestors did. That means that wisdom teeth, also known as your third set of molars, are oftentimes more of a nuisance than a benefit to today’s residents. In fact, because the human jaw is only large enough to accomodate 28 teeth. Wisdom teeth often come in and crowd existing teeth – placing your beautiful smile at risk. They can also erupt sideways or become impacted, meaning they are blocked from erupting by existing teeth or obstruction from the jawbone. Because of this, Union Oral Surgery recommends evaluation and possible removal of wisdom teeth for all area residents who are in their teens and early twenties and experiencing the telltale signs of wisdom teeth eruption or impaction.
How Do I Know I Need Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
It isn’t always obvious that wisdom teeth are coming in. However, these symptoms, that our oral and maxillofacial surgeons will recognize, are signs that it’s time for you to consider wisdom teeth extraction:
- You have swelling or bleeding at the back of your mouth, behind your existing molars;
- You have bad breath that just won’t go away, even immediately after you brush your teeth (which is often caused by bacteria getting trapped underneath the gum where your wisdom teeth are erupting;
- You’re feeling pain in the back of your mouth;
- You experience difficulty opening widely
- You have unexplained headaches or jaw discomfort.
If you’re experiencing any of these above symptoms, it’s time to visit Union Oral Surgery have your wisdom teeth evaluated.
What Does the Wisdom Teeth Extraction Process Feel Like?
When you visit our doctors for wisdom teeth extraction, your oral health, comfort and general well-being is their primary concern. Many wisdom teeth extraction patients have heard that the procedure can be difficult, but both of our doctors will strive to dispel those fears and make you as comfortable as possible during your wisdom teeth extraction surgery.
During your consultation, we will evaluate the level of difficulty to remove the wisdom teeth. You will be offered a variety of anesthesia options to make you comfortable during and after the procedure. At Union Oral Surgery, Periodontics and Dental Implants, we offer nitrous oxide (laughing gas) sedation and general anesthesia in addition to traditional local anesthesia. When needed, we have a board certified anesthesiologist on staff to administer general anesthesia. Please note, if you choose general anesthesia for your wisdom teeth extraction surgery, you will be unable to drive yourself home after your procedure and will need to arrange for transportation. This, and other instructions, will be reviewed at your consultation visit.
At What Age Do I Need to Consider Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
Although most patients are in their late teens or early twenties, it isn’t necessarily a particular age that determines when the surgery is appropriate, but each patient’s unique experience. No matter how old you are, if your wisdom teeth are causing pain, discomfort or tooth crowding, you should contact Union Oral surgery, Periodontics and Dental Implants for an evaluation. We highly recommend wisdom teeth extraction either before or as soon as they become problematic so that you or your loved one doesn’t suffer from the pain of wisdom teeth eruption or impaction.
Is There Anything Else I Need to Know About Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
Often, wisdom teeth extraction surgery is the first surgical experience for our patients. We understand that you may be anxious or have several questions about the procedure and the sedation options available. If you believe you are getting your wisdom teeth and are wondering what you should do, call Union Oral Surgery, Periodontics and Dental Implants for an evaluation with our doctors to get your questions answered.
To schedule an appointment today, call our offices at (704) 291-7333.