The last thing any dental patient wants to hear is that they need to lose a natural tooth. But in some cases, an extraction will save your healthy smile. Wisdom teeth are the ones most often in need of removal. Sometimes, these third molars can erupt without incident. But most people’s jaws are not able to accommodate this last set of teeth without wreaking havoc on the rest.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
The third molars are more commonly called wisdom teeth. Molars are the back teeth used for chewing food. Wisdom teeth are the last to show up, typically in the late adolescent years and early twenties. These large chewing and grinding surfaces were once needed by our ancestors to consume their coarse diet which leads to early tooth loss. In modern times, with advanced dental care and more easily edible food, most people have all their teeth in place by the time wisdom teeth emerge.
Why Do We Recommend Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
Since third molars emerge later and people are not losing teeth regularly like our ancient ancestors, sometimes wisdom teeth must be removed. Space limitations can lead to many dental health problems, such as:
- Impaction: When teeth are trapped below the gum line and cannot erupt properly, this can lead to pain, decay and other oral health issues.
- Crowding: Sometimes the jaw isn’t wide enough to fit the third set of molars. This crowding condition causes teeth to shift closer together or overlap, making it hard to brush and floss effectively.
- Dental Drift: If the last molars move existing teeth while attempting to erupt, the shift can alter a patient’s bite.
Is the Wisdom Tooth Removal Process Difficult?
The complicatedness of the extraction depends on the severity of the impaction, the number of affected teeth, position, and location. Since wisdom teeth are located far back on the jawline, there are additional problems that can arise. In addition, third molars are more likely than any other teeth to become impacted. Therefore, they need to be surgically extracted. Since third molars are large teeth, they tend to be difficult to remove. But a skilled and experienced dentist can make even the most complex tooth extractions comfortable and safe.