Uh-oh! Have you recently heard the dreaded phrase, “You need to have your wisdom teeth taken out?” If you’re like most people, you’re not only apprehensive about the procedure, but not sure why it’s necessary in the first place. Fortunately, wisdom teeth extraction in Clarksville is easier than you might think! But even so, you might still be wondering what wisdom teeth are and why you should have them removed. Keep reading below to get answers to those questions. You’ll be better informed about the procedure – and less anxious too!
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Everyone gets 3 sets of molars – the first set comes in about age 6, the second set around age 12, and the third set (the wisdom teeth) around age 18.
At one time in human history, people had larger jaws and needed their wisdom teeth to eat tough meat and fibrous foods. They also needed them as a “backup” for existing teeth that developed large cavities or other problems. Now, with a softer diet and modern oral hygiene practices, wisdom teeth aren’t necessary.
Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need To Be Taken Out?
Many patients say, “My wisdom teeth aren’t bothering me – why do they need to be taken out?” Even if your wisdom teeth aren’t causing problems now, there’s a good chance that they will down the road, so it’s a proactive way to avoid those issues.
Also, the younger you are when they’re taken out, the easier the process will be. Healing and recovery is typically much easier for a young adult than it is in later years!
Here are some additional reasons to remove wisdom teeth:
- Hygiene – Even if there is room for your wisdom teeth, they’re still quite difficult to reach with a toothbrush and floss. Over time they accumulate plaque, tartar and bacteria that leads to cavities and severe gum problems.
- Impaction – In many cases, wisdom teeth will only come in partially, leaving a “flap” of gum tissue that creates a deep pocket. It’s impossible to keep this pocket clean, which potentially leads to pain, swelling and serious infection.
- Lack of space – Most people simply don’t have the room to accommodate wisdom teeth because the human jaw has become significantly smaller in recent history.
What Other Ways Does the Procedure Benefit You?
In general, it’s so much easier to prevent oral health problems than treat them. Here are just some of the issues you’ll avoid by having your wisdom teeth extracted:
- Damage to the adjacent teeth
- Sinus problems
- Cysts or serious infections deep in the jaw
- Severely inflamed, painful gum tissue
- Crowding or bite alignment issues
Remember, you only have to have the procedure done once, but it will help you maintain a healthy smile for the rest of your life!
About the Author
Dr. Stephen Fisher has over 35 years of experience as a dentist in Clarksville providing a wide range of services, including wisdom teeth extraction. He always has his patients’ long-term oral health in mind when he recommends treatment, and has a warm, reassuring chairside manner to put his patients at ease during any procedure. If you have wisdom teeth and have any other questions, he can be reached via his website or at (479) 754-3357.