Learn the Meanings of Common Dental Terminology

Archive for Wisdom Teeth

Impaction

When a new adult molar is erupts from the jaw incorrectly this is called an impaction. A variety of dental problems can develop when new teeth and especially wisdom teeth do not form properly. Many times this is because there just isn’t enough room for the new tooth.

Wisdom Teeth

Most people get four wisdom teeth, but it is possible to get less or even more. They are the last molars in the back of the mouth top and bottom. Wisdom teeth appear between the ages of 17 and 25. When they come in they push other teeth or come in sideways. There often isn’t enough room for wisdom teeth as our jaws have evolved smaller and can not accommodate so many teeth. These are the last to come in and there are usually problems. Very few people ever get to leave their wisdom teeth intact.

For about third of the population, wisdom teeth do not occur.

Wisdom Teeth

Most people get a 3rd and final set of molars called Wisdom Teeth in their later teens to early twenties. If you are lucky your wisdom teeth will come in and give your mouth a full set of teeth, but for most, wisdom teeth come through misaligned and need to be taken out. Some people are really lucky and don’t have wisdom teeth at all.

Impacted wisdom teeth are teeth that are trapped in-between the soft tissue and the jaw bone. If the tooth only breaks through the gum partially it exposes the gum to bacteria and infection.

Your dentist can show you if you have wisdom teeth and where they are located with an x-ray image. A dentist may also recommend to have the wisdom teeth removed before they become a problem. Oral surgery is required to remove wisdom teeth. Recovery time varies depending on the position of the teeth to be extracted and the age of the patient.

A local anesthetic is used, but you may want to request a strong sedative if you have anxiety about the procedure.

The patient will most like experience facial swelling around where the teeth were pulled. Pain medication may be taken like Tylenol, but stronger pain relievers may be prescribed by your dentist or surgeon. Recovery may take a few days.