Wisdom teeth are one of the most serious dental issues that patients have to contend with, yet there are many misconceptions about them. These relics of an obsolete biological system can be even more dangerous than a lot of people think, especially with regard to patients who are already suffering from other health conditions.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the final set of molars that grow right at the far end of the jaw, completing the two sets that humans typically have. The original intent of this is to crack tough shells of nuts and other types of food that early humans used to subsist on. However, with modern agriculture and cooking methods have made this unnecessary.
In accordance with the changes in diet, human physiology changed, as well. As a result, the human jaw became shorter and shallower, which then left less room for all of the teeth that have unfortunately failed to evolve accordingly.
This is why wisdom teeth are often considered unnecessary and can even be a significant inconvenience for the patients who suffer from the symptoms accompanying them.
Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?
The question of whether or not wisdom teeth should be removed is an important one to consider. After all, some cases warrant an extraction while others don’t. It depends entirely on the circumstances surrounding the teeth and the respective conditions of the patient.
In many cases, the patient simply grits their teeth, as it were, and endures the worst of the symptoms of the wisdom teeth coming out. However, there are just as many, if not more, patients who prefer to get rid of them instead of having to put up with the discomfort for days or weeks.
Then there are the cases where removal is no longer optional. These are those times when patients are at risk of developing serious health issues if the wisdom teeth are left alone. Likewise, some patients are working in high-risk jobs where their concentration can be impacted by the constant discomfort caused by the presence of the wisdom teeth.
For just some of the situations where a dental extract of the wisdom teeth cannot be avoided; these include the following:
- When the gums are tender and bleeding all the time.
- When the pain becomes too much to bear.
- When the ache is exacerbating, other health conditions like asthma, congenital heart defects, and high blood pressure.
- When the discomfort is impairing the senses or functions of the patient.
- When the wisdom teeth are causing damage to other teeth.
- When an infection sets in.
- When the wisdom teeth are impacted.
The above are just some examples of instances where the extraction of the wisdom teeth is not only recommended but can even be required.
When to Leave Wisdom Teeth Alone
There are times when extraction of wisdom teeth is not necessary. To be sure, a visit to the dentist for an evaluation would always be a good idea.
The reasons for simply leaving the wisdom teeth alone are the following:
- When the pain is not completely intolerable.
- When there is no excess bleeding.
- When the discomfort is not impeding performance.
- When the wisdom teeth are completely coming out of the gums.
- When the symptoms don’t last for more than a few weeks.
In many cases, the wisdom teeth can burst through the gum tissue with no problems, and the gums would then heal. Ideally, the wisdom teeth should have settled neatly with the rest of the teeth, so that there are no unnecessary pressures resulting from the intrusion.
Most importantly, if the symptoms go away after a while, this means that there will be no lasting problems resulting from the presence of the wisdom teeth.
How Wisdom Teeth Extraction Works
When the patient has decided to come to our Kitchener dentist office to have their teeth extracted, the steps for getting it done are straightforward enough. The first step is an evaluation of the wisdom teeth so that we know exactly what we are dealing with.
Regardless of if the wisdom teeth are impacted or if they have already managed to break through the gum tissue, there will likely be a need for a digital x-ray. This is to make sure that there are no issues that are not visible through a visual examination. The more is known about the state of the wisdom teeth, the easier it will be to remove them.
Once that is done, the patient is then given local anesthesia, either rubbed around the gums or injected directly into the tissue. In some cases, both are done if the patient is particularly sensitive to pain. Once the area is sufficiently numb, the teeth are then extracted using tooth extraction forceps.
At this point, great care is taken to make sure that no unnecessary damage is done to the bone, the gums, and the surrounding teeth. Because wisdom teeth are located all the way to the back, they can be a bit tricky to pull out.
Once the teeth have been removed, the patient is allowed to rinse and spit to cleanse the mouth. In many cases, a salve is applied to the cavity to staunch the bleeding. After that, the patient is prescribed medication to speed up the recovery process.
Contact us anytime with any questions or to book an appointment.