So, you’ve been having some fairly significant pain from your wisdom teeth that you’ve had for a while. Your dentist has been telling you for years that you should probably get your wisdom teeth removed. However, you’re a bit uncomfortable about wisdom teeth removal because you don’t know much about it. Well, we’ve got you covered with all the information you’re looking for regarding wisdom teeth.
By the time you finish reading this, you’ll know:
- Questions to ask your dentist
- Things to consider regarding your case
- What your risks are if not removed
Is Wisdom Teeth Removal Necessary?
The problem is our jaws don’t grow to a sufficient size to accommodate wisdom teeth. Since there’s not enough room for them, they don’t erupt as they should. They may come in angled, or they never fully erupt—this causes issues for the rest of your teeth.
Wisdom teeth, also called third molars, often cause damage to the neighboring teeth—second molars. It’s recommended you have them removed before they become a problem and require a more complicated extraction.
Someone rarely has enough room for their wisdom teeth, so it should be seen as common as losing baby teeth—everyone goes through it.
Why Don’t We Have Room for Wisdom Teeth?
Our jaws are smaller than generations before us. This is because the diet of modern generations lacks certain vitamins that encourage jawbone development. One, in particular, is vitamin K2, it’s what distributes calcium throughout the body to your bones. K2 is found primarily in liver and organ meat as well as grass-fed animal products. Unfortunately, commercial farming and corn-fed beef and chicken has eradicated K2 from our diet.
How Do I Tell If I Need Mine Removed?
To see if you have enough room to accommodate your wisdom teeth, place your finger directly behind your second molar. If you feel gum tissue and it’s flat, you might be able to accommodate wisdom teeth. However, if the gum is curved and protruding a bit, you likely won’t have room and will need your wisdom teeth removed. It sounds like a primitive test, but it is in essence what a dentist will do, albeit with measuring instruments.
You Should See A Dentist About Getting Wisdom Teeth Removed
The only accurate way you’ll know if you have enough room for wisdom teeth is to schedule a consultation with a dentist. They will be able to evaluate your situation and present you with your options and their professional opinion. You should take advantage of this opportunity to ask some key questions.
What to Ask at the Consultation:
- Do all my wisdom teeth need to be extracted?
- What anesthesia options are there?
- What might be worst-case scenario for complications?
- Is the difficulty level of my case common?
- What are the risks of removing my wisdom teeth?
- Will my face get swollen? If so, how long will it last?
What Happens If I Don’t Have Them Removed?
The reason you want to have your wisdom teeth removed ASAP is so that they don’t have a chance to damage your other teeth. Often, as we mentioned, wisdom teeth will come in crooked or perpendicular to second molars. That can throw bite alignment off, cause a gap where food particles get trapped, and even cause tooth decay. So, if you don’t remove them you’re running the risk of painful complications down the road.
What If My Wisdom Teeth Never Erupt?
Just because wisdom teeth don’t erupt and you don’t remove them, doesn’t mean there’s not potential trouble. There is about a 25% chance that the tissue that lines the wisdom tooth can become cancerous. Yet, another reason to opt to remove your wisdom teeth sooner in life vs. later.
Now, if you were born without wisdom teeth, you’re one of the lucky few and can skip the rest of the post. However, don’t confuse being born without wisdom teeth with having wisdom teeth that never erupted. Only a handful of people are born without wisdom teeth, it’s not a common thing.
When Should I Get Them Removed?
Again, the recurring answer here is as soon as possible, but we’ll expound a bit on this.
You want to get them removed before the roots are fully developed. It becomes increasingly difficult to extract them when this happens. When the crowns are the only part to have developed, it’s much easier.
Teeth grow top-down—that is, the crown develops first and then the root develops. Think about it like a bike buried in the sand vs. a tennis ball buried in the sand. Removing the bike is going to be much harder as it has to be dug out. A tennis ball, however, can be rolled out of the sand easily.
That should give you more insight on why you’re better removing wisdom teeth well before the roots come in.
How Long Can I Wait To Have It Done?
As long as you want to roll the dice of something worse happening, that’s how long. You need to think about wisdom teeth removal as an urgency, not a matter of convenience. It’s going to be inconvenient no matter how you do it. However, it’s something that needs to be done promptly. You’ll save yourself a lot of pain and money the sooner you do it.
Is there such a thing as getting it done too early?
This is kind of a catch 22 question. There’s the POV that if you wait longer to see if the teeth erupt normally, you may have room for them. Then again, you could end up with a more complicated situation—it’s a crapshoot.
The best option is the one that your surgeon who does the consultation comes up with. You should trust your dentist to make the right decision. This is why it’s critical to find a dentist you can trust.
Does My Dentist Perform The Surgery?
With any specialized dental procedure such as wisdom teeth removal, it’s typically best to see a specialist. In this case, the specialist would be an oral surgeon. However, many dentists also have extensive expertise in oral surgery. So, it’s up to you and your dentist—if they’re confident in their skills as are you—there’s no problem there. Just make sure your dentist routinely performs wisdom teeth removal. Wisdom teeth extraction has a high risk of complication if not done by an expert.
Your dentist, if doing the surgery should use a drill specifically for oral surgery. It’s not the same kind of drill used for crowns and the like. Simply ask your dentist, “will you be using a drill that is designed for oral surgery?”
Bottom Line: Get Your Wisdom Teeth Removed ASAP
If you haven’t picked up on the recurring theme by now, that headline says it all. Look, we understand, nobody likes going to the dentist. They sure don’t like getting a tooth extracted either, especially wisdom teeth. However, if you let wisdom teeth grow for years, you could be doing serious damage to your smile and not even know it.
When wisdom teeth that have erupted irregularly begin to push your other teeth out of the way, it’s bad. It starts with some tooth discomfort, almost like there’s something in your teeth. Then, you might experience things like biting the side of your cheek by accident. That is due to your bite being out of alignment due to the crowding.
All in all, what you don’t want to happen is the issue gets so severe that you have an emergency. However, if you let it get to that, we’re here to help the pain stop and correct the issue. Contact us today if you’re having problems with your wisdom teeth and need them removed.