Common Questions About Wisdom Teeth Removal

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Common Questions About Wisdom Teeth Removal

Your set of third molars is the last one to come in, and usually won’t show up in your mouth until you are a little bit older (hence the term “wisdom teeth”). But not everyone has these molars, some have them removed, and others live with them just fine. If you have some questions about these somewhat strange teeth, here are your answers.

What’s the Purpose of Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth—a third set of molars—developed as a way for our ancestors to chew things like raw meat, tree bark, nuts, roots, and plants. As we evolved from our cave-dwelling days, we developed a diet that included cooked food and softer cuisine, which means that we don’t necessarily use those molars anymore. Scientific discovery also revealed that our brains have changed since those caveman days, taking up more space in our heads, which leaves less room for excess teeth.

Do I Need to Have Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Some people mistakenly believe that everyone has to have their wisdom teeth removed, which is not necessarily true. Some people will never get any wisdom teeth, and others will have teeth that grow in perfectly normal and fit inside the jaw just fine. Those individuals may opt to skip the surgery rather than have the normal wisdom teeth removed.

However, if your dentist or oral surgeon believes that wisdom teeth growing in might disrupt the alignment of your other teeth, or if the teeth are situated crooked or sideways (called “impacted” wisdom teeth), they might cause pain and infection and should be removed.

What Are My Options for Removal?

Wisdom teeth removal generally consists of one of two options:

  • You remain awake during the procedure and have the dentist or oral surgeon administer a local anesthetic and remove the teeth in his/her office
  • You go under full anesthesia and have the oral surgeon remove the teeth during a surgical procedure

There is no right or wrong way to have it done, so you can decide with your oral surgeon in Salt Lake City which one might be better for you.

How Long is the Recovery?

For most people a wisdom tooth procedure is outpatient (you’ll go home that day), and you will experience two or three days or discomfort and swelling. Healing fully takes anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks depending on how well your body responds. It’s important to follow your oral surgeon’s instructions after the procedure to avoid complications, infections, or painful conditions such as dry socket.

To get a consultation on wisdom teeth removal and talk to an oral surgeon about the procedure, call the office of Dr. Crayton R. Walker today.