hird molars are commonly known as wisdom teeth. They are the teeth that appear the farthest back on your mouth and complete a regular adult dentition that comprises 32 teeth. They are so-called not because they make you smarter but because they usually appear once you are older. Unlike your other permanent teeth, these come out between ages 17 and 22. Once they are out, they are the toughest, widest set of teeth. Scientists believe these were meant to aid in the chewing process of tougher meats and that the evolution process has slowly made them unnecessary. This may be the reason why some persons do not have all four of them or do not have them at all.
How many do you have?
If you are not sure, the best way to see them is through a panoramic x-ray, which lets the dentist know if they have been formed and in what position. Sometimes, when there is not enough space, wisdom teeth erupt in an abnormal position. They can grow horizontally in the jawbone; they sometimes only partially erupt, leaving a tip exposed. This condition is known to dentists as an impaction. Impacted wisdom teeth are the most common reason for their extraction.
Usually, dentists will not remove healthy teeth, but wisdom teeth that are not correctly formed are best extracted. When teeth are formed on the jaw bone and slowly move up to the surface, they are surrounded by a tissue that opens the way. Although it may sound amazing, this tissue is able to eat away bone and tooth roots. Now, if the wisdom tooth cannot find its way out, this tissue will continue to surround the tooth. Over time, this can be a problem because if the wisdom tooth is impacted, it might start to eat away the roots of neighboring teeth or it can form a cyst on your jaw that will cause bone loss. Wisdom teeth that are only partially erupted can complicate cleaning the area. Remember that the accumulation of plaque and bacteria develops cavities, inflammation, pain, or bone loss. Finally, if you are planning to undergo an orthodontic treatment you will be recommended to extract wisdom teeth as soon as possible. This is because these teeth are able to move other teeth as they grow, which is counterproductive to the treatment.
There are two types of extractions. A surgeon will perform a simple extraction if most of your wisdom tooth has come out. With this type of procedure, he will loosen the tooth using a tool called an elevator and then pull it out with a forceps, which looks like a set of pliers. If most of your wisdom tooth is still within your jawbone, the surgeon will perform a surgical extraction. Here, he will cut your bone until he has access to the tooth. In order to keep the diameter of the opening small, he might also have to cut the tooth into small pieces and carefully take them out. After closing the incision with stitches, you will probably under more inflammation and need more care than the first, but if your surgery was performed diligently you will start getting better within 72 hours.
Dentistry and surgery are not necessarily pain-free. However, the delicacy, attention, and care with which the dentist performs his or her work go a long way on how much discomfort you will undergo. With the right prescription, the dentist’s compassion and postoperative attention, you will feel much better even in little time. At the Costa Rica Dental Team our friendly dentists, implant specialists, dental assistants, and front desk staff are ready to provide you with personal, attentive, professional service and incredible dental care at affordable prices. Schedule now your next appointment.