Third molars, more known as wisdom teeth, are the last set of teeth to grow in the human mouth. While some people may have enough room for these teeth to come in properly and cause no issues, many others experience problems as a result of their development. In these cases, it is often recommended that the wisdom teeth be removed.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to develop in our mouths. They typically appear between the ages of 17 and 25 and are located at the back of the mouth, behind the second molars. These are called “wisdom teeth” because they usually appear when an individual is older and considered to be more “wise.”
Different Types of Wisdom Teeth
- Erupted: These teeth are those that have fully emerged from the gums and are functional. They are the easiest to clean and maintain and typically cause no problems.
- Impacted: These teeth are unable to fully emerge from the gums. They can cause a number of dental problems, including infection, tooth decay, and damage to adjacent teeth. That’s why there are many benefits of removing impacted wisdom teeth.
- Semi-Impacted: These teeth have only partially emerged from the gums. They may cause pain and discomfort and can be more difficult to clean and maintain than erupted wisdom teeth.
- Soft Tissue Impacted: These wisdom teeth are covered by the gums and not visible. They are usually painless but can cause infection or cyst formation if not removed.
- Mesially Impacted: These wisdom teeth are impacted in a way that they are angled towards the second molar. They can cause damage to the second molar and are usually removed.
- Distally Impacted: These teeth are impacted in a way that they are angled away from the second molar. They can cause damage to the second molar and are usually removed.
- Vertically Impacted: These teeth are impacted in a way that they are straight up and down. They can cause damage to the second molar and are usually removed.
Benefits of Removing Wisdom Teeth
While some people may have enough room for wisdom teeth to come in properly and cause no issues, many others experience problems due to their development. In these cases, wisdom tooth removal is often recommended. Here are some of the benefits of removing all wisdom teeth:
Prevention of Dental Complications
Most types of impacted wisdom teeth can cause a number of dental problems, including infection, tooth decay, and damage to adjacent teeth. By removing the wisdom teeth before they have a chance to cause these complications, individuals can save themselves from a lot of pain and expense down the road.
Improvement of Overall Oral Health
Wisdom teeth are all located at the rear part of the mouth, which can make them difficult to properly clean and maintain. The risk of decay and gum disease increases in these areas and can spread to other teeth if not addressed. Removing wisdom teeth can improve oral hygiene and decrease the risk of developing oral health problems.
Wisdom teeth can cause the front teeth to become misaligned, which can negatively impact the appearance of an individual’s smile. Removing the wisdom teeth can help to correct this misalignment and improve the overall appearance of the smile.
Relief from Pain and Discomfort
The pressure and pain caused by impacted wisdom teeth can be significant, making it difficult for individuals to eat, speak, and even open their mouths fully. Removing the wisdom teeth can provide immediate relief from this discomfort and allow individuals to resume their normal activities, alongside other health benefits of removing wisdom teeth.
Quick and Uncomplicated Recovery
Recovery from wisdom teeth removal is generally quick and uncomplicated. The procedure is usually performed under local or general anesthesia, and the recovery period can vary depending on the patient (age, health condition, etc.) and the complexity of the extraction. Pain and swelling are common after the procedure but can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication and cold compresses.
Is It Necessary to Remove Wisdom Teeth?
As mentioned, there are different types of wisdom teeth, and some of these aren’t really necessary to be removed. Here are some of the reasons to remove and not to remove wisdom teeth:
Reasons to Remove Wisdom Teeth:
- Prevention of dental complications such as infection, tooth decay, and damage to adjacent teeth.
- Improvement of overall oral health and hygiene.
- Improve appearance by correcting misalignment of front teeth.
- Relief from pain and discomfort caused by impacted wisdom teeth.
Reasons NOT to Remove Wisdom Teeth:
- No symptoms or problems with the wisdom teeth.
- No risk of dental complications.
- It is important for individuals to discuss the potential benefits and risks of wisdom teeth removal with their dentist or oral surgeon to determine if it is the best course of action for them.
Are There Risks in Removing Wisdom Teeth?
Removing wisdom teeth is generally safe, but like any surgical procedure, it does come with certain risks. These risks include:
- Pain and Swelling: Pain and swelling are common after wisdom teeth removal. Over-the-counter pain medication and cold compresses can help to manage these symptoms.
- Bleeding: Some bleeding is normal after wisdom teeth removal, but excessive bleeding should be reported to the oral surgeon.
- Dry Socket: This is a painful condition that can occur when a blood clot that forms in the socket after the tooth is removed is dislodged or dissolves.
- Infection: There is a small risk of infection after wisdom teeth removal. This can be treated with antibiotics if necessary.
- Nerve Damage: In rare cases, the removal of wisdom teeth can damage the nerves that control sensation in the lower lip, tongue, or chin. This can cause numbness or tingling in these areas.
- Allergic reaction: Some people may have an allergic reaction to the anesthesics or other medications used during the procedure.
- Delayed Healing: Recovery from wisdom teeth removal can vary depending on the individual and the complexity of the extraction. In some cases, healing may be delayed.
It’s important to keep in mind that these risks are generally low, and most people experience little to no complications after wisdom teeth removal. It’s important to discuss the potential risks and benefits of the procedure with your oral surgeon before the procedure to make an informed decision.
How to Prepare for Wisdom Teeth Removal
Preparing for wisdom teeth removal, also known as third molars, is an important step in ensuring a smooth and successful procedure. Here are some things to keep in mind when preparing for your surgery:
- Schedule a consultation: Before the procedure, schedule a consultation with your oral surgeon to discuss your medical history, the type of anesthesia that will be used, and the risks and benefits of the surgery.
- Follow pre-operative instructions: Your oral surgeon will provide you with specific instructions on what to do before the procedure, such as not drinking or eating anything after midnight the night before the surgery. Be sure to follow these instructions carefully.
- Arrange for transportation: Since you will be under anesthesia during the procedure, you will not be able to drive yourself home. Arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home and stay with you for the first 24 hours after the surgery.
- Make necessary arrangements: Take the time off work or school, and arrange for any other necessary childcare or pet-sitting for the recovery period.
- Inform your surgeon of any medication you take: Let your oral surgeon know about any medications you’re taking, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, as well as supplements and herbal remedies.
- Wear comfortable clothing: Wear comfortable clothing on the day of the surgery, such as a button-up shirt or blouse that can be easily removed without disturbing the bandages.
- Prepare your recovery area: Have a comfortable place set up for you to rest and recover after the surgery. Keep ice packs and pain medication nearby, and have a glass of water and a straw to help with drinking.
By following these steps, you can help ensure a smooth and successful wisdom teeth removal procedure. Remember to ask any question you have during your consultation with the oral surgeon and follow his instructions closely.
Removing wisdom teeth can provide a number of benefits, including improved oral health, relief from pain, and prevention of dental complications. It is important for individuals to discuss the potential benefits and risks of wisdom teeth removal with their dentist or oral surgeon so that they can make an informed decision about what is best for them.
If you need wisdom teeth removal in Bradenton, Parkwood Dental is your top choice. We have licensed experts, a state-of-the-art facility, and the necessary skills and experience to give you a pleasant experience while getting your wisdom tooth removed. Schedule your appointment today!