What are Wisdom
Wisdom teeth are
the third molars. Normally people have three
permanent molars that develop in each quadrant
of the mouth; upper, lower, right and left. The
first molars usually grow into the mouth at
around six years of age. The second molars grow
in at around age 12. The third molars usually
will try to grow in at around age 17 to 21
years. Since that is considered to be the age
when people become wiser, third molars gained
the nickname, "wisdom teeth." Actually, they are
no different than any other tooth except that
they are the last teeth to erupt, or grow into
the mouth. They are just as useful as any other
tooth if they grow in properly, have a proper
bite relationship and have healthy gum tissue
around them. Unfortunately, this does not always
What is an
When wisdom teeth
are prevented from erupting into the mouth
properly, they are referred to as impacted.
Teeth that have not erupted are not necessarily
impacted. It may be that it is still too early
in someone's dental development, and if time
passes they might grow in properly. A dentist
must examine a patient's mouth and his or her
X-rays to determine if the teeth are impacted or
will not grow in properly. Impacted teeth may
cause problems, such as infection, decay of
adjacent teeth, gum disease or formation of a
cyst (fluid-filled sac) or tumor from the
follicle, which is the tissue that formed the
crown of the tooth. Many dentists recommend
removal of impacted wisdom teeth to prevent
wisdom teeth that have already erupted?
teeth may also need to be removed. The dentist
may recommend this if the tooth is
nonfunctional, interfering with the bite, badly
decayed, involved with or at risk for
periodontal disease, or interfering with
restoration of an adjacent tooth. Once again,
every case is different, and only your dentist
can determine if there is a reason for you to
have a tooth removed.
wisdom teeth be removed?
symptoms may indicate that the wisdom teeth have
erupted and surfaced, and should be removed
before they become impacted, in other words, the
teeth have surfaced and have no room in the
mouth to grow. However, each individual may
experience symptoms differently.
the gum line in the back of the mouth
Many oral health
specialists will recommend removal of the wisdom
teeth before they are fully developed, usually
in the adolescent years, as early removal will
help to eliminate problems, such as an impacted
tooth that destroys the second molar.
involved in the extraction procedure?
extraction involves accessing the tooth through
the soft and hard tissue, gently detaching the
connective tissue between the tooth and the bone
and removing the tooth. Extractions can be
performed under local anesthesia.
What can I
expect after the extraction procedure?
extraction, you may experience some swelling and
discomfort, which is a normal part of the
healing process. Cold compresses can help
decrease the swelling, and your dentist may
prescribe medication to help relieve discomfort.
What is dry
Dry socket, the
most common postoperative complication from
tooth extractions, delays the normal healing
process and results when the newly formed blood
clot in the extraction site does not form
correctly or is prematurely lost. The blood clot
lays the foundation for new tissue and bone to
develop over a two-month healing process. Women
who take oral contraceptives are at a higher
risk of developing dry socket after wisdom teeth
extraction due to high levels of estrogen.
preventing dry socket
extractions during the last week of the
menstrual cycle, when estrogen levels are
through a straw, as the suction may
interfere with clotting.
which can irritate the extraction site.
excessive mouth rinsing, which may interfere