Often patients believe that they need to have their wisdom teeth extracted as soon as they come through, but it’s often not the case.
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the last molars to erupt into the mouth. They can be called the third molar also.
Why are wisdom teeth called wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth earned their nickname because they tend to come in about the time that kids are entering adulthood, usually during the late teens and early twenties!
But wisdom teeth are actually remnants of our distant past.
Thousands of years ago, before people started cooking and processing most of their food, it took a lot more work to eat. This caused our jaw muscles to work, our jaw to grow, and our teeth to wear out. At this time, people only lived to be about 25-35 years of age, but by that time they needed another set of molars to ensure they would be able to continue to eat. Our longest-lived ancestors typically only lived to be around age 50, and by that time they often had only one or two teeth left, so they definitely needed their wisdom teeth.
Today, though, we take much better care of our teeth, and our jaws don’t grow as large, so the extra molars can cause problems.
Does everyone need wisdom teeth out?
The reasons extraction of wisdom teeth is sometimes recommended include:
• The wisdom tooth can hit the second molar (become impacted)
• The wisdom tooth can be hard to clean or it can make it hard to clean the second molar so puts the second molar at risk of decay
• The wisdom tooth can interfere with bite
• The wisdom tooth is Impacted in the bone and causing recurrent infections.
If you think you need to have your wisdom teeth removed contact Dr Sam Roberts at Hinterland Dental. Sam will carry out a full dental examination and may request an OPG (a full mouth X-ray). If the wisdom teeth need to be removed he can offer treatment in the chair in surgery, under twilight sedation or at Buderim Private Hospital under general anesthetic.