You’ve probably heard about wisdom teeth, but how much do you know about them? Wisdom teeth are known as “third molars.” Many people have them, but not everybody does. If you have wisdom teeth, you might need them removed at some point.
The next time you have dental x-rays, make sure to ask your dentist if third molars appear on your images. It’s a good idea to know if you have them, so you won’t be surprised if they start poking through your gums.
Do You Have Questions About Wisdom Teeth?
If you want more information about third molars, you’re not alone. Learning that you have them is no reason to worry. Likewise, not having them is no reason to fret. People without wisdom teeth are not any less “wise” than the next person. Whether or not you have them is often hereditary. In other words, if your close relatives do not have them, you might not either.
Common Questions (and Answers) About Wisdom Teeth:
Q: Does everyone have four wisdom teeth?
A: No. As odd as it might seem, people can have one, two, three, four, or zero.
Q: Do people have room in their mouth for wisdom teeth?
A: It all depends. Many people do not have room for a third set of molars. If they erupt, it’s usually beneficial to remove them.
Q: How will I know if I have them?
A: Your dentist will see developing teeth on an x-ray by the time you are an older teenager. Many people start feeling their third molars erupt when they are teenagers or during their 20s or 30s. However, some people learn about their extra set of teeth when they are much older adults.
Q: Why should third molars be removed?
A: Every person is different. The reason for removal varies from one to another. However, some of the most common reasons for removal include: an infection in the teeth or surrounding teeth, eruption of the teeth is causing other teeth in the mouth to shift, or your mouth is not big enough for the teeth to grow in properly.
Q: How complicated is the removal procedure?
A: It depends on your specific situation. Sometimes, wisdom teeth removal is relatively simple. If you have impacted teeth, the removal process is more complicated.
Q: What is the best age for extraction?
A: Every person is unique, but it’s usually beneficial to have them removed as early as possible. Recovery from the extraction is typically less eventful for younger people.
Q: Does it hurt to have them removed?
A: No matter who removes your wisdom teeth (either a general dentist or an oral surgeon), you will not feel pain during the procedure. Some teeth extractions require local anesthesia, and others require IV sedation or another form of sedation.
Should You Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Please talk with us about wisdom teeth next time you’re in the office. We are happy to check your x-rays to see if you have them. If you do, we will provide you with advice and guidance on whether you should consider having them removed. Our goal is to help you understand the pros and cons of wisdom teeth removal and what to expect before, during and after the removal procedure.