Extracting Wisdom Teeth
Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?
An average adult mouth is designed to hold around 28 teeth comfortably but most adults end up with 32 teeth. These additional four teeth are called wisdom teeth, (AKA) third molars. There are different theories as to why we get these extra molars few of us have room for. One is simply that over the course of history, human jaws have gradually grown smaller.
Another one that has gained traction in recent years is the soft foods theory, which proposes that the processed foods we eat in the modern day require much less chewing than what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate. Because we’re chewing less, we stimulate our jaws less and they don’t grow large enough to accommodate that last set of molars. An increasing number of people don’t even get all four wisdom teeth to begin with, or any at all!
Whatever the cause, if there isn’t enough room for the wisdom teeth, they will likely become blocked or impacted by the other teeth around them. This can become extremely traumatizing for the roots of the neighboring teeth. A partially erupted wisdom tooth provides an easy place for food to become trapped in the tissue surrounding the tooth, which can lead to bacterial growth and possibly serious infection.
Why Early Adulthood Is the Best Age for Wisdom Tooth Removal
The average age of removal is between 18-24 years old, and there’s a reason for that. By removing wisdom teeth when a patient is a young adult, our dentists are able to prevent potential healing problems. When a person reaches the age of their mid-thirties, there are much higher risks for wisdom teeth removal. The best time to remove wisdom teeth is generally between the ages of fifteen to eighteen years of age.
If you are an adult and need to remove your wisdom teeth, don’t worry. Here at Watkin Dental Associates, we take extra care to make sure that our adult patients are comfortable and anxiety-free. After a consultation, we will recommend that you continue with your wisdom teeth until intervention is absolutely necessary. When it is necessary to remove your wisdom teeth, the dentist will recommend a simple and pain-free surgery. Your health is our highest concern.
Before your procedure, you will meet the dentist to go over what to expect for your personal procedure. He will go over any medications you are taking and answer any questions you may have.
The actual procedure takes an average of about 45 minutes. The dentist will anesthetize you via the agreed-upon method discussed at your pre-op appointment. This way you will be numb during the procedure and should not feel any pain. At the end of the procedure, the dentist will stitch up the area and place gauze to stop any bleeding.
Recovery after Wisdom Tooth Removal
Wisdom teeth recovery can take up to two weeks. You can expect a swollen mouth and cheeks. The swelling will be worse the first couple of days and gradually improve. Icing your cheeks and face will help with the swelling, and we recommend eating soft foods like pudding and shakes. Stay away from hard, crunchy, or sticky foods. Avoid drinking with a straw to prevent dry sockets.
Watkin Dental Associates Can Help When Wisdom Teeth Don’t Fit
Wisdom teeth removal is one of the most common oral surgery procedures and is very routine, but patients are sometimes still nervous before any kind of dental procedure. Patient comfort is one of our highest priorities. If you have questions about our practice, you can learn more on our business page, and make sure to get directions before you head our way! This is a common procedure at Watkin Dental Associates. If you are interested in having a consultation please give us a call at (978) 345-6919 or email us.