Children develop a total of 20 teeth. These teeth eventually fall out gradually and are replaced with adult, or permanent, teeth. You develop a total of 32 permanent teeth. 28 of these teeth erupt by around the age of 13. The last 4, however, do not come in until your late teens to early 20s. These are your wisdom teeth. These teeth are also the most likely to cause problems. If your wisdom teeth are causing you complications, Mid Valley Family Dental can help.
What are Wisdom Teeth?
The wisdom teeth are also called your third molars. These are the last of your adult teeth to erupt, coming in somewhere between your late teens to early 20s. Thousands of years ago, the wisdom teeth played an important role in the human jaw. They were essential for breaking down the coarse foods that made up the human diet. Following the invention of cooking, food became softer and easier to chew. The wisdom teeth became unnecessary. Over time the size of the human jaw began to shrink. While the wisdom teeth are no longer important, they continue to develop.
Do I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
There are some people who get their wisdom teeth just like any other teeth. They do not cause any issues or pain. It is entirely possible to live with your wisdom teeth if they are not causing any problems. However, for many individuals, the wisdom teeth cause serious complications. The wisdom teeth are the most likely teeth to become impacted. This means that they are unable to erupt through the gums properly. They may only partially erupt, or they may not erupt at all. You might not have enough room in your jaw, the teeth might be blocked, or they might be growing at an angle that prevents them from erupting properly.
When your wisdom teeth are impacted, several issues can arise. Issues caused by impacted wisdom teeth include:
- Pain at the back of the jaw.
- Swelling in the back of your jaw and your face.
- Difficulty eating, speaking or moving your mouth at all.
- Infections in the back of your mouth where the wisdom teeth are trying to erupt.
- Cysts, or fluid-filled sacs, in the jawbone.
- Damage to your adjacent teeth.
If you notice any symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth or suspect that they might be impacted, it is important that you schedule an appointment right away. The earlier the issue is addressed, the easier it typically is to treat.
How are Wisdom Teeth Removed?
When the wisdom teeth are impacted, the solution is to remove them. This requires what is called a surgical extraction. Wisdom teeth removal is done under a local anesthetic. Sedation may also be provided to help you feel more comfortable. The process begins with small incisions in your gums to expose the wisdom teeth and the surrounding bone. The teeth are then removed, and the sockets cleaned. In some cases, the teeth may need to be sectioned and removed in pieces. Once the procedure is complete, your surgical incisions are sutured closed.
A Team Approach
Removing your wisdom teeth involves a team approach. We work together with an oral surgeon to ensure your optimal treatment and the best results. We can diagnose your impacted teeth with a thorough oral exam and dental X-rays. Once diagnosed, your removal procedure is then performed by an experienced oral surgeon. This ensures that you get the best care possible.
When the wisdom teeth are impacted, the best solution is to have them removed. Once removed, they do not need to be replaced. If you suspect that your wisdom teeth are impacted, contact Mid Valley Family Dental at 503-902-1622 to schedule your appointment today.