Wisdom teeth removal is a common dental procedure.
As they are the final set of teeth to emerge as we age, wisdom teeth often cause issues. With limited space to grow, they can disturb our already established adult teeth. Over time, they can then become impacted as there’s no room for them to erupt – causing pain. There are plenty of dental health issues linked to wisdom teeth, so it’s often best to have them extracted if you do experience problems.
If you’re having trouble with your wisdom teeth, a dentist can help. This guide covers everything you need to know about wisdom teeth removal.
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth that emerge as we grow, and usually begin to erupt during our teenage years or twenties. They are the 4 teeth we have right at the back of the gums, with one emerging in each corner of the mouth.
As wisdom teeth start to push through the gums after our other 28 adult teeth have already developed, they can cause dental problems.
Some people don’t experience any trouble with their wisdom teeth, and we’re seeing increasing numbers of patients that don’t have them at all. Many that do suffer with their wisdom teeth, however, will need dental care. Many will have wisdom teeth extracted to resolve the problems they cause. The question is – do we need them?
From an evolutionary perspective, our early ancestors developed wisdom teeth due to the prevalence of tough foods in their diet. These third sets of strong molars were crucial for them to be able to chew foods such as raw meat, nuts, and other foraged ingredients. Without the ability to properly cut and cook these foods, wisdom teeth developed so we had more ‘chewing power’.
Since, our diets have evolved over time – meaning we don’t necessarily need these extra molars to help us process food. As we developed a variety of cooking options, fresh food resources, and proper cutlery, mealtimes are much easier to manage. This is why many anthropologists maintain that we no longer need wisdom teeth. Some of us now never develop them in the first place, as humans are slowly evolving to adapt to our modern diets.
Since we no longer need our wisdom teeth, many people have them removed once they begin to cause problems. We recommend that you go to see your dentist as soon as you begin to experience pain or discomfort around the back of your teeth. They will be able to advise you on the best treatment plan.
There can be alternatives to having your wisdom teeth extracted if your dentist sees the issue can be resolved using a less invasive treatment. That may be a round of antibiotics to clear up an infection, with a dental hygiene appointment to relieve the pain.
At Ringway Dental, we do our best to restore the health of your natural teeth. However, some patients may have tooth decay or other more serious concerns that mean extraction is the most sensible option. You can always weigh up the pros and cons during your consultation, and ask the dentist any questions you may have about the procedure.
Here are some of the reasons why you might need your wisdom teeth extracted:
Wisdom teeth have limited space to emerge as other adult teeth are already developed. They can emerge in difficult positions, pushing other teeth and overcrowding the jaw.
Your dentist will be able to see if your wisdom teeth are causing pain due to an infection. They are naturally more prone to infections due to their position right at the back of the mouth, making it harder to clean them properly. There are different types of infections caused by issues with impacted wisdom teeth.
Also known as gingivitis or periodontal disease, gum disease develops if plaque is left to form on your teeth. This plaque eventually turns into ‘tartar’, a hard substance that erodes enamel. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause gum disease as they are difficult to clean, especially when erupting in hard-to-reach positions.
Wisdom teeth issues can lead to tooth decay. Bacteria often becomes stuck around the emerging teeth, leading to plaque. Tooth decay is a serious issue that can cause dental cavities. Dental cavities are holes in the teeth that cause swollen gums, toothache, and infections that may develop into abscesses.
The dentist will examine your teeth during a consultation. They will check the health of your teeth and determine the best treatment to resolve pain and further dental problems. If you need wisdom teeth removed, the dentist will explain the procedure to you and book you in for an extraction.
Wisdom teeth are extracted using local anaesthetic so you will be numbed before the procedure. Once the anaesthetic is administered, the dentist will manipulate the socket and gums so they can gently remove the wisdom tooth.
They will then carefully cleanse the soft tissue and teeth around extraction area. To help the gums heal, you might need a couple of small stitches. This helps prevent future infection and reduce any inflammation. Wisdom teeth removal is a relatively quick procedure, and can be done in just 20 minutes.
When your wisdom teeth are extracted, your dentist will use a local anaesthetic to numb the area before they begin the procedure. Many dentists are now also equipped to help nervous patients, so we can offer sedative treatments to ease any anxieties and put you in a ‘dream-like state’ during the extraction. Either way, you shouldn’t feel pain during the procedure.
After the extraction, you may experience some swelling or bruising. This is normal and will settle down in the hours after the procedure.
You might experience more problems getting your wisdom teeth extracted as you age. Older adults can develop underlying health issues like diabetes, which impact the immune system and reduce our ability to heal wounds. If you do have problems with your wisdom teeth, it’s best to get them looked at as soon as you can.
After your wisdom tooth extraction, we will explain any aftercare advice and provide you with contact details if you do need anything else from us.
Here are a few of our aftercare tips for once you’ve had your wisdom teeth extracted:
At Ringway Dental, our private surgery based in Cheadle is doing dental health differently. State-of-the-art dental technology takes pride of place in our modern dental clinics, alongside our welcoming team of dentists.
Our wisdom tooth removal Manchester treatments are highly popular. To find out more, book your free Smile Consultation with our smile advisor Stephanie. These online consultations are a great way to discuss how we can transform your smile – whether you’re looking for information on wisdom tooth removal, cosmetic dental treatments, or other general dentistry procedures.
If you have any further questions, please get in touch with our team using our online contact form. You can also call our surgery on 0161 437 2029, or leave a message. We think bright, healthy smiles should be a priority, so we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.