Frequently asked questions about wisdom teeth

24 Oct, 2022
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What are wisdom teeth?

Normally, humans have a set of 3 molars lining both sides of the upper and lower jaws. Wisdom teeth are the third (last) molars on these sets.

When do wisdom teeth start growing?

Wisdom teeth usually emerge between the ages of 17 and 25, typically during the late teenage years or early adulthood.

Why does it hurt when my wisdom teeth emerge?

Pain is often caused by the tooth’s eruption in an abnormal position and/or when the mouth is too crowded for third molars to develop normally.

Does everyone develop all four wisdom teeth?

No. Recent research has shown that almost 25% of people do not grow all four wisdom teeth.

Why is it sometimes necessary to remove wisdom teeth?

Because they are positioned so far in the back of the mouth, wisdom teeth are challenging to keep clean. This can lead to cavities, inflammation, and abscesses. It might also affect neighboring teeth and cause gum diseases.

When is it necessary to remove wisdom teeth?

According to The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), wisdom teeth removal may be necessary if you experience changes in those teeth, such as pain, cavities, or abscesses, or if the impacted tooth affects neighboring teeth. The AAOMS also recommends patients remove wisdom teeth even when they do not show any symptoms in cases where patients are at a higher risk of developing future problems. However, not experiencing discomfort or pain does not necessarily exclude the need for wisdom teeth extraction.

What if I decide to keep my wisdom teeth?

Although not recommended, patients can choose not to extract wisdom teeth. In that case, several hygiene standards should be met and committed to, including daily brushing and thorough cleaning – proper flossing – regular dental check-ups and X-rays to ensure the health of your wisdom teeth, gum tissues and jaw bones. That said, choosing not to extract impacted wisdom teeth can damage neighboring teeth, which in turn lead to the appearance of cysts, benign growths, and abscesses, as well as cavity and gum diseases.

Why is it preferred to have wisdom teeth removed at a young age?

  • To minimize the risk of developing gum diseases or cavity.
  • Young people tend to heal more quickly from surgery and may have a more flexible schedule for their recovery.
  • Depending on the location of wisdom teeth, removing them becomes more difficult with age as their roots lengthen and grow closer to the sensory nerves in the lower jaw or the sinus area of the upper jaw.
  • The roots of the teeth are usually incomplete or malformed. In addition, as we age, the bone surrounding the wisdom tooth becomes denser and vice versa.


How time does it take to remove wisdom teeth, and how much does the surgery cost?

The duration of the surgery differs from patient to patient. On the other hand, surgery costs vary depending on the location of the impacted tooth.

Is it possible to remove all four wisdom teeth at once?

Yes, that is possible. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) recommends getting your wisdom teeth extracted at once to avoid subsequent surgeries and reduce the need for medications.

What is the expected recovery time?

Most patients resume their daily activities within one day of the surgery. Following the doctor’s advice, patients can return to their everyday life within one week. In some cases, full recovery might take four weeks.

Can wisdom teeth grow back after extraction?

No.

What to expect after surgery?

Some swelling, pain, and bleeding are normal after wisdom teeth removal. It is all part of your recovery journey. In addition, patients must follow doctors’ orders and adjust their diets to avoid certain foods.

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