How much do you know about your wisdom teeth? The back molars are often removed, but many patients don’t know why it’s necessary to extract these teeth.
Interesting Information About Wisdom Teeth
Here are a few interesting pieces of information you might not know about wisdom teeth:
- How Did They Get Their Name: Why are they called the “wisdom” teeth? This nickname comes from the timing when they usually grow in. These third molars often show up between the ages of 17 – 25, which is a time of transition into adulthood.
- Not Everyone Has Wisdom Teeth: Did you know that about 35% of the population never get wisdom teeth? They are born without these third molars, and there isn’t a medical explanation of why.
- Impaction is Common in These Teeth: Approximately 90% of the people who have wisdom teeth have at least one tooth that is “impacted.” This means that there isn’t enough room in the mouth for the tooth to grow in. If an impacted wisdom tooth is left in the mouth, it can become infected and damage the surrounding teeth.
- Wisdom Teeth Removal is Necessary: Even if your wisdom teeth aren’t bothering you right now, it’s often necessary to remove these molars. Proactive extraction helps to minimize the risk of many complications in the future.
- Four Wisdom Teeth: Most people have all four wisdom teeth – two on the top and two on the bottom. In rare cases, people have fewer than four wisdom teeth.
Preparing for Wisdom Teeth Extractions
Stocking up on ice cream isn’t the only thing you should to do prepare for wisdom teeth removal. If you’ve scheduled an appointment for an upcoming extraction, then there are a few things you need to consider to improve the overall outcome of this procedure.
The use of anesthesia and/or sedation makes this procedure painless for most patients. But you need to be proactive with post-treatment care to reduce the risk of complications. Here are a few tips you can follow to get ready:
- Buy Recovery Items: It’s helpful to have ice packs, gauze pads, soft foods, and hydrating liquids on hand. Buy these items before the surgery so you don’t need to run to the store with a sore mouth.
- Recovery Support: Patients shouldn’t be left alone immediately after tooth extraction surgery. If your child is getting their wisdom teeth out, then block out the full day so you can be available to help with medication and care.
- Alcohol and Smoking: Avoid alcohol and smoking at least a day before the surgery, and during the recovery time. If you are taking prescription medications, then talk to the dentist about these medications before the procedure.
- Pain Relievers: Over the counter pain relievers can be used after the extraction such as ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil). Make sure there is food in your stomach when taking medication to reduce the risk of an upset stomach.
- Post-Operative Care: You will be sent home with detailed information about post-operative care. Follow these instructions carefully – and call our office you have any questions.
At myDental, our team offers a full range of general and cosmetic dentistry services. Whether you need wisdom teeth removal, or you’d like to talk to the dentist about other treatments, we are here to help. Schedule an exam at one of our nearby locations.