Many people consider it a rite of passage. They think that getting your wisdom teeth pulled is something that will happen to everyone sometime in their late teens or early 20's.
While it is true that the majority of people end up getting their wisdom teeth pulled, it is not true that it always happens during that period in their life. It is also possible that you may not need to get your wisdom teeth pulled at all. We can help you figure out if a wisdom tooth extraction is something you need, will need or may not need if you ask us.
The Facts About Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are a set of back molars that will come after all of your other teeth come in. For most people that time is in their late teens or young adulthood, but it can occur at any time when your adult teeth begin to grow or later in life. Over time, the need for the wisdom teeth has changed.
There was a time when humans needed them to chew on food, but that is not the case now. Because they are not needed, the body has changed too, for example, the jaw. There is not as much space in the mouth as there once was and that impacts the ability for wisdom teeth to grow.
What Wisdom Teeth Need to Grow
The first thing that wisdom teeth need to grow is space. It is possible to check to see if you have enough space simply by feeling for open space in the back of the mouth. If there is enough space, it is possible for the wisdom teeth to grow in, but that still does not mean they will not need an extraction.
The wisdom teeth need to fully emerge through the skin to grow. If they cannot emerge or partially emerge, extraction is possible. The wisdom teeth also need to grow in straight. Crooked teeth can create problems for the rest of the mouth. If the wisdom teeth grow and start to affect the surrounding teeth, extraction is again possible. Extraction is also necessary when the wisdom teeth are diseased or have other problems that affect the health of the tooth.
The simple answer to the question of whether wisdom teeth need extraction is no. There are circumstances where the teeth are healthy, there is enough room, they are able to fully break through the skin and they do not cause damage to other teeth. If this is the case, extraction is not need.
For more information about this or any other oral health issue, contact our office to schedule an appointment.