Wisdom Teeth – Are they necessary or should they be taken out?
What is a Wisdom Tooth?
Wisdom Teeth, also known as the third molars, are last in line in the back of the mouth. They are the last to erupt, which normally occurs around the ages of 17 – 25. For many people, wisdom teeth emerge from the jaw normally and don’t cause any problems. For others, wisdom teeth can become impacted, which means they are trapped within the jaw bone and unable to emerge. An impacted wisdom tooth is not always a bad thing. Often times, this condition results no symptoms or pain and can remain within the jaw indefinitely.
Do all Wisdom Teeth need to be removed?
For years there has been some controversy as to whether or not these teeth needed to be removed. If the teeth aren’t causing any harm or pain, it’s perfectly acceptable to leave them in place. However, in some cases, the impacted wisdom tooth does cause problems and will need to be removed. You may experience redness and swelling around the area where the tooth is impacted as well as jaw pain, headaches, and a strange taste when you bite near the area of the impacted tooth.
Are Wisdom Teeth necessary?
Wisdom teeth are a holdover from the early days of evolution, when humans ate a more primitive diet that required more teeth. Today we have smaller jaws and many of us are unable to accommodate these additional, late-emerging teeth. As wisdom teeth attempt to emerge, they can force other teeth out of the way and interfere with orthodontic work. Partially emerged wisdom teeth may also provide a breeding ground for bacteria, and bacterial buildup can lead to severe gum disease.
Even if an impacted wisdom tooth is asymptomatic, some dentists recommend prophylactic treatment – removing wisdom teeth surgically to prevent the possibility of future problems. Fortunately, wisdom tooth extraction is a very common outpatient procedure and can be performed with local anesthesia. As with any oral surgery, patients should expect minor residual bleeding, localized swelling and slight bruising within the first few days after the procedure. Patients may want to limit their activities for a couple days, but should expect to recover quickly and easily.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Wisdom Tooth ExtractionDuring your dental visit x-rays will be taken that will allow the dentist that is performing the surgery to see just how bad your wisdom teeth are. They will share the results with you, examine your mouth and then tell you the treatment options available. If they are going to extract your tooth, you may have the option of using local anesthesia or IV sedation.
Depending on the shape, size, and the formation of the wisdom teeth, the removal process can vary from relatively easy to fairly complex. If the root tips have managed to wrap themselves around the bone, the removal process can be more time consuming and potentially quite painful. Once the extraction is completed, there is normally little to moderate swelling involved. Your dentist may give you a prescription for pain medicine, which you should use as soon as you arrive home. If you are going to use IV sedation, you’ll need to someone to accompany you, as you will not be able to drive yourself home.
After the removal of your wisdom teeth, your dentist will explain to you what needs to be done to ensure proper healing. Normally, they will provide you with printed instructions to ensure that you understand what to do so that you do not experience any problems during the healing process. Someone should be with you for the first 24 hours to make sure that you are recovering properly. You won’t be able to eat certain foods for the first 48 hours, which is to be expected.
Once your wisdom teeth are removed you should see an immediate improvement in your overall dental health.
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Dr. Gustav Kozina and the professional staff at Den-Care Smile Center are licensed providers of General Dentistry, Oral Surgery, Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontic treatment with braces and accepts most dental insurance plans including Medicaid, Public Aid and All Kids in Illinois.
Den-Care Smile Center treats patients from Northern Illinois including Lake County, Cook County, Dupage County and McHenry County as well as the communities of Antioch, Beach Park, Gages Lake, Grayslake, Great Lakes, Gurnee, Lake Barrington, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Lake Villa, Lake Zurich, Libertyville, Lincolnshire, Lindenhurst, Long Grove, McHenry, Mundelein, North Barrington, North Chicago, Round Lake, Round Lake Beach, Spring Grove, Vernon Hills, Volo, Wadsworth, Waukegan, Winthrop Harbor and Zion.