What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are a redundant set of molars that don’t usually begin to erupt until you’re over the age of 18.
Wisdom teeth are a thing of the past — when our ancestors needed to chew coarse grains and grasses — but aren’t needed anymore. In fact, most people don’t have enough space in their mouths to accommodate this third and final set of molars.
How can I tell if I have wisdom teeth?
Your dentist keeps track of your wisdom teeth with annual X-rays. Even before your wisdom teeth emerge or become impacted, your dentist knows if they’re likely to cause problems.
What is an impacted wisdom tooth?
Because most modern mouths are too small for a third set of molars, your wisdom teeth may get “stuck” when they’re trying to erupt.
They press against your other teeth, and can’t fully emerge from your gums, a condition called impaction. Impacted wisdom teeth cause inflammation and pain in your gums and jawbone.
Why should I get my wisdom teeth extracted?
Impacted wisdom teeth can become infected and damage your other teeth, your gums, and your jawbone.
The infection can even spread through your blood to create a dangerous and potentially life-threatening systemic infection. Your wisdom teeth can also push your other teeth out of alignment as they try to emerge.
What happens when I get my wisdom teeth extracted?
If your wisdom teeth have fully emerged but are causing alignment problems, your dentist removes them quickly, gently, and easily with special tools. If your wisdom teeth are impacted, they first carefully incise your gums so they can grasp and remove the unneeded molars.
Before the procedure, your dentist cleans your mouth and administers local anesthetic. They also give you nitrous oxide, if needed, which is an inhalable gas that’s sometimes called laughing gas. Nitrous oxide relaxes you, alleviates anxiety, and dulls pain, so you feel comfortable during your extraction.
After your extraction, your dentist gives you instructions, so you stay comfortable and safe while your gums heal. It’s important to put pressure on your gums by biting down on gauze for about 45 minutes so that a protective clot forms.
To get relief from an impacted wisdom tooth or find out if you need wisdom teeth extraction, contact your nearest RenovaSmiles office by phone or online form.