Wisdom Teeth Extraction — Is It Necessary?
It seems to be a rite of passage for an older teen or young adult to have their wisdom teeth extracted. Swapping funny stories about what you said while coming out of anesthesia or discussing your post-procedural diet of soup and ice cream seem to be a “coming of age” story for the modern adult. Do all of our Sacramento dental patients need to have their wisdom teeth removed? What are the facts about wisdom teeth extractions?
How Many Teeth Do I Have?
Children have twenty baby teeth, followed by 32 for adults. The 32 adult teeth line up like this: eight incisors up front, four canines (or eye teeth), eight premolars and twelve molars (including four wisdom teeth if you still have them). If you’ve had your wisdom teeth pulled, that leaves you with 28 adult teeth to care for.
You may know people who never had their wisdom teeth pulled and they have no problems. Is it always necessary? What happens if you don’t get them out? And why might your dentist advise you to pull what seem to be perfectly healthy wisdom teeth?
Do I Get to Keep My Wisdom Teeth?
If you have the room in your jaw for four more big molars and if those molars are coming in straight and healthy, then congratulations are in order. You get to have 32 adult teeth instead of 28! If you have any of the following oral issues, however, you may need to be the next in line for wisdom tooth extraction:
- Pain coming from the wisdom teeth
- Infections in the soft tissue behind a wisdom tooth
- Cysts or abscesses
- Damage or cracking of nearby teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Gum disease
- Impaction or failure of wisdom tooth to erupt fully
But you may be in the small group of people who get to keep their wisdom teeth if they are:
- Fully erupted (grown in completely)
- Easily cleaned at home
- Positioned well in relation to other teeth
Everyone is different. Some people just have bigger jaws than others. Many dentists and doctors believe that jaw length may be related to breastfeeding as a child, but you cannot change that now that you are an adult! The most important point for an adult is that sacrificing the health of 28 teeth just to keep four wisdom teeth is not a good decision.
Wisdom Teeth Extraction Without Complications
Whether you get to keep your wisdom teeth and have bragging rights or get them pulled using the latest in pain free dentistry, this is a decision to make with your dental professional. The Marconi Dental Group is prepared for wisdom teeth extractions with sleep dentistry, also called conscious oral sedation, so that you can undergo the procedure without experiencing it. For those that want to tough it out with traditional methods for a better story to tell about what happened when their wisdom teeth were removed, our Sacramento dentists can help you too! Either way, if you need your wisdom teeth pulled, the Marconi Dental Group is here to help!