Wisdom teeth are usually the last ones to erupt and the first ones to be extracted – most people don’t have fully developed wisdom teeth until their mid-twenties, but they need their third molars extracted by the time they are in their thirties. Here is why wisdom teeth need to go so soon.
Why Wisdom Teeth Cause So Many Problems
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars, located at each end of the rows of teeth in the human mouth. In the past, about 10,000 years ago, these third molars were used extensively for grinding food, but our diet has changed so much that we no longer need these teeth for eating. However, 10,000 years is a very short time in evolution, certainly not enough for a body part to disappear because it is unused, but the other transformations that have already affected the oral cavity due to lifestyle changes have diminished the space available for wisdom teeth in dentition. As a result, wisdom teeth tend to develop problems related to eruption and growth – they either fail to erupt through the gum and develop underneath the gum surface, trying to make space for themselves by pushing and crowding the other teeth or they erupt, but they don’t grow in the right direction. The other factor that makes wisdom teeth so problematic and so prone to decay is that their location makes them almost impossible to clean properly. The food residues and other impurities that collect around wisdom teeth increase the risks of severe cavities as well as of infections, the most commonly chosen treatment for these issues being wisdom tooth removal Park Ridge offers.
When and How Are Wisdom Teeth Removed
Most people need to get their wisdom teeth removed when they are in their thirties. The third molars being affected by so many issues of great complexity, wisdom teeth are usually removed by oral surgeons, not by general dentists – while it is usually the patient’s general dentist who identifies and diagnoses the impacted or decayed wisdom tooth, the removal itself is usually performed by the surgeon that the general dentist refers the patient to.
The process of wisdom tooth removal is essentially the same as the removal procedure used with other teeth, but the special location of wisdom teeth and the complexity of the intervention requires a more specialized approach. In simple cases, the procedure is performed under local anesthesia, but if the tooth is very complicated to remove, the surgeon might want to perform the extraction while the patient is under general anesthesia. Wisdom tooth extraction might also take longer than the removal of other teeth and the process might require the use of more specialized tools.
The after-care of the extraction wound is also essentially the same as in the case of other teeth. The patients should refrain from any strenuous physical activity for a couple of days and they should avoid dairy products, foods that are too hot or too cold or foods that are too hard. During cleaning, the patient should pay special attention not to dislodge the blood clot that has formed in the wound – if that clot is lost, the patient might develop dry socket syndrome, a set of symptoms that include pain, inflammation, fever and might lead to slower recovery.