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As children, our jawbones are constantly developing and growing to accommodate permanent teeth. Sadly, there’s usually not enough space in our jawbones for the whole dentition.
Teeth replacement begins at an early age, however 3rd molars erupt much later than the other permanent teeth. These 3rd molars are most commonly known as wisdom teeth.
Wisdom teeth generally erupt at the age of 18. In some instances, they will erupt a few years earlier or even a few years later. There are exceptions where they don’t grow at all. They erupt in the back of the jaw, behind the upper and lower second molars, due to the lack of space in the mouth, it can result in harm to the dentition.
Should I remove my wisdom teeth?
Not always. If you have enough room and they are properly aligned, there is no reason for extraction. Although, this is a rare scenario.
What if I don’t remove them?
Wisdom teeth will always try to find a way to grow out. However, due to the lack of room in your mouth, it doesn’t often do it in an optimal way. This will cause them to take atypical positions, making them grow sideways, partially, or even impacting on the second molar and not growing at all.
A partially erupted tooth has a significant amount of its crown trapped under the gums. This prevents you from performing proper oral care. Moreover, developing inflammation and infection on the gums around the wisdom tooth.
Impacted teeth can push other neighbor teeth while trying to erupt, changing your bite and aesthetics. Another major issue regarding impacted teeth is the odds of developing tumors and cysts around them.
Lastly, most people experience pain, swelling, and stiffness when their wisdom teeth are growing out, even if they are just starting to erupt.
The oral surgeon will thoroughly evaluate your case, taking into consideration aspects such as a clinical exam, tooth position, x-rays, and other key anatomic references that might be important regarding the tooth. After that, he will explain the procedure and possible risks.
Dentists usually evaluate their patients during their teenage years while the wisdom teeth are still developing to predict any future complications and act promptly, achieving better results.
The duration of the surgery is determined by the number of teeth to be extracted and certain aspects tied to the case.
The entire procedure is always performed with sedatives or anesthesia to guarantee the patient’s comfort. Also, depending on the complexity of the case, a flap might need to be lifted to access the tooth. Once the tooth extraction is completed, the gum is sutured and gauze is placed over it to prevent bleeding and guarantee a proper healing process.
You can stay at the office until you feel like you are ready to leave.
The surgeon will give you a postoperative kit which includes the postoperative instructions, prescription for any necessary medication, and if needed, a follow-up appointment for stitch removal and healing check-up in the upcoming weeks.