WidsometeethWhat are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the final set of molars that come in between the late teens and mid-twenties.

They are called “wisdom teeth” because they usually come in at the point that a person comes into maturity. Research actually shows that your brain might reach full maturity at the point that your wisdom teeth make their appearance.

Why would I need to see a dentist about my wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth often grow into the mouth misaligned and can damage nearby teeth, nerves, or even the jawbone. Wisdom teeth can also be impacted if they do not fully grow past the surface of the gums. If your wisdom teeth are impacted, you run a greater risk of bacterial infections and decay.

A consultation with your dentist will help you understand your options. Sometimes dentists will extract wisdom teeth before they become a problem. The sooner and younger you are when you deal with them, the less recovery time will be needed.

If your wisdom teeth need to be removed, two things could happen:

  • If the wisdom tooth is fully exposed, it can be removed as any other tooth.
  • If the wisdom tooth is impacted, and grew in under the gum, a minor surgery will be needed. A small incision will be made, and the tooth will be extracted in pieces.

The extraction of a wisdom tooth will follow these steps:

  • The area of your gums and mouth surrounding the tooth will be given a local anesthetic.
  • Depending on your situation, you might also be given a mild sedative. The most mild is known as “laughing gas”. If you are recommended this sedative, you can drive yourself home. If you are in need of something stronger, you will be told ahead of time that you need to arrange a ride home, as you may be drowsy after you wake up.
  • After the treatment is complete, you will be given thorough instructions for post-treatment care.
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