If you have any questions about wisdom teeth removal, call 435-652-1243 to meet with Dr. Hendrickson, he will be happy to look at your x-ray and discuss your case and options with you.
A dry socket (local alveolar osteitis) occurs when the clot is lost from the hole left in the jaw after a wisdom tooth is extracted. It generally results in a dull, uncomfortable ache. It is easily treated in the office where you had your wisdom teeth removed.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, third molars are referred to as wisdom teeth because their common age of eruption is between 17 and 25. Aristotle explained it this way 2500 years ago!
The last teeth to come in man are molars called ‘wisdom-teeth’, which come at the age of twenty years, in the case of both sexes. Cases have been known in women upwards of eighty years old where at the very close of life the wisdom-teeth have come up, causing great pain in their coming; and cases have been known of the like phenomenon in men too. This happens, when it does happen, in the case of people where the wisdom-teeth have not come up in early years.
– Aristotle, The History of Animals
No, although 4 is the most common number (one in each corner of the mouth); some people have 1, 2 or 3 wisdom teeth and some people don’t have any at all! In rare cases people develop additional teeth in the area of the wisdom teeth call ‘para-molars’ and may have 5 or more!
Third molars helped our human ancestors to grind plant tissue during a time when leafy greens were a more important part of our diet. It is thought that the skulls of our ancestors had larger jaws with more room to accommodate more teeth which helped them to chew foliage more efficiently. This was important because humans lack the ability to efficiently digest cellulose, an important part of plant cell walls. Since the advent of agriculture, almost 10,000 years ago, our diets have become softer and include a larger amount of sugar and high energy foods. These diets have resulted in smaller jaws and not enough room for the wisdom teeth.
Your dentist will classify a tooth by the degree to which it has been able to grow out of your jaw bone. If a tooth remains trapped in the bone, usually by a lack of space or close proximity to other teeth, the tooth is considered to be ‘impacted’. If your wisdom teeth are impacted and need to be removed, you will experience some degree of swelling around the lower wisdom teeth. Sometimes patient’s refer to this as the “chipmunk effect” because after surgery you look like you are packing nuts in your cheeks like a chipmunk!
This is always a hard question to answer, simply because we can’t see into the future. However, if an X-ray indicates that there is inadequate room for the wisdom teeth to develop, then a few criteria may indicate the ideal time to remove the wisdom teeth. Your dentist will help you decide when the time is right.
If you wait until your adult years to remove your wisdom teeth several things become more complicated about your surgery.