What are the wisdom teeth?
Also called third molars, the wisdom teeth are vestigial remnants from our evolutionary ancestors (the great apes); they were used for chewing hard and uncooked foods. These teeth, positioned completely at the back of the mouth (more precisely behind the second molars), are the last ones to develop, usually between the ages of 16 and 25.
Due to the lack of space, wisdom teeth sometimes remain in the bone; causing impacted wisdom teeth. If they have partially pierced the gums, they are semi-impacted wisdom teeth.
Why remove wisdom teeth?
There are many reasons for extracting wisdom teeth:
- Orthodontic treatment;
- Dental caries (especially for semi-impacted wisdom teeth);
- Pathology of the gum and bone (ex.: benign tumor, cyst);
- Irritation of the tissues surrounding the wisdom teeth such as pericoronitis, cellulites, etc.);
- Wisdom teeth are causing damage to a neighboring tooth;
Before extraction, the dentist may prescribe an antibiotic 24 to 48 hours before surgery for approximately 7 to 10 days. This will have the effect of minimizing the pain and preventing an infection. In most cases, the patient can return to work the next day.
Your wisdom teeth do not cause you any problems?
Know that it is preferable to extract them, to prevent long-term dental problems such as:
- Cyst formation;
- Resorption of the root of the neighboring molar;
- Loosening of the penultimate tooth;
- Decay, etc.
In addition, it is important to know that the risk of complications may increase with age. So, do not wait any longer!