Does everyone have wisdom teeth? Do they always need extraction?
We’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions about wisdom teeth.
What are wisdom teeth? How do I know if I have them?
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars in the back of your mouth (the ones closest to your throat). Most people have four of them (one on each corner of your jaw) but not everyone does.
If you have 32 teeth, you definitely have wisdom teeth. Sometimes wisdom teeth do not “erupt”, staying in the jawbone where you can’t see them. See us if you’re unsure. A dental x-ray can help determine if you have wisdom teeth that have not erupted.
Does everyone have wisdom teeth? Does having them make me wise
No, not everyone has wisdom teeth. In fact one study suggests that almost 35% of the people do not have wisdom teeth.
Wisdom teeth have no connection with being wise. They generally come when a person is around 17 years old, by which time you’re assumed to be “wiser” – hence the name.
When and why do wisdom teeth need to be removed?
Wisdom teeth need to be removed when they’re impacted (meaning they can’t come out or erupt from your jaw), if they come out at a wrong angle, prevent you from brushing or flossing properly or if your mouth is too small and there is no room in your jaw to accommodate them.
Any of the above situations may cause immense dental pain. A dentist is the best person to advice when your wisdom teeth should be removed.
Is wisdom teeth extraction painful?
Advanced dentistry, improved techniques and better post-surgery pain management has made wisdom teeth extraction much less painful. The level of pain and procedure required is also dependent on how badly your teeth are impacted.
Will I be awake during my wisdom teeth extraction surgery?
In most cases you’ll be given a local anesthetic to numb the jaw area from where the tooth will be extracted. However, sometimes sedation or general anesthetic is suggested – depending on condition of the wisdom teeth, their position and your pain threshold.
How long does it take to recover from wisdom teeth removal surgery?
The average recovery time is about three days (though it may be longer) and swelling, soreness, and discomfort are likely side effects. Your mouth may need a few weeks to heal completely after surgery.
What can I do to make my recovery from wisdom teeth removal surgery quicker?
Listen to the dentist’s advice. Have only soft foods for 24 – 48 hours, depending on your wisdom teeth removal surgery. You should also stay on top of your medication to manage pain.