Every person has a third set of molars known as wisdom teeth. In the days of our ancestors, these teeth served as replacements after the primary and secondary molars wore thin (due to the rough diets people once ate). As such, they are no longer necessary in modern times, as most of us will live with the second (adult) set our whole life.
Do Your Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed?
Contrary to popular belief, not everyone has to have their wisdom teeth removed. Sometimes they stay lodged above the upper gum line, never causing any issues. Only when these teeth dislodge through the tissue or are impacted (an abnormal abruption through the surface), do they require extraction.
The problem with wisdom teeth that partially erupt through the gum line is that this naturally leads to swelling and inflammation, which can be very painful for the patient and hinder their ability to chew or speak. In addition, bacteria can become trapped underneath a soft tissue called the operculum that commonly grows over erupted wisdom teeth that have not been removed.
Thus, the discomfort caused by unnatural tissue penetration is far from the only reason why a hasty extraction is advised, as the risk for developing harmful oral infections like periodontitis and severe dental caries is much higher.
How Does Wisdom Teeth Extraction Work?
After your dentist has determined that extraction is the appropriate course of action (they will inspect the condition of the wisdom teeth via manual inspection or with an x-ray), an appointment will be scheduled with an oral surgeon. To ensure a pain-free removal process, a local anesthetic is applied to the teeth. The wisdom teeth are removed by cutting the surrounding bone and gum tissue; the wound will be stitched to facilitate the healing process.
For more information on wisdom teeth extraction, contact our office at (520) 374-2400 today!