Evolution isn’t perfect, and wisdom teeth are a great example of that.
Much like our appendix, wisdom teeth are a throwback to an earlier time – several hundred thousand years to be exact.
Back then, our jaws used to be bigger, and we needed extra molars to help grind the coarse foods which were a bigger part of our diets.
And just like our appendix, when things go wrong with these vestigial, they can wreak havoc on our bodies.
Why wisdom teeth are such a pain
Wisdom teeth don’t necessarily have to cause problems when they come through. In fact, not everyone even gets them!
About one-third of the population don’t have wisdom teeth, as evolution slowly works them out of our species.
Unfortunately, for the other two-thirds of people, wisdom teeth arrive whether they like it or not, and if they’re really unlucky, they’ll cause problems when they do.
When they finally begin to become “active”, usually around the ages 17 -21, the problems arise when they grow slightly off course, grow sideways, or don’t fully emerge. When this happens they stay trapped beneath the gum or bone, or remain blocked, leading to swelling, pain and possible infection.
The pain associated with wisdom teeth and their subsequent problems can be one of life’s worst dental experiences.
Like all dental treatments, wisdom teeth removal begins with a consultation.
We know how intimidating the dentist can be, especially for something as large as a wisdom tooth problem. We will put you at ease from the moment you walk in the door and make your visit comfortable every step of the way, letting you know exactly what’s happening and what the plan is.
During the consultation, your dentist will want to take x-rays to see what’s going on behind the gums. From there, a decision is made about the potential direction of your wisdom teeth, and if they’re likely to cause any trouble.
If there’s plenty of room for them to grow, and it looks like they’re coming in straight, then they may well be left alone.
If however you’re already experiencing pain, or the teeth are on course to impact existing teeth, then a decision may need to be made to have them removed.
Wisdom teeth removal
Despite what horror movies have been telling us for years, a trip to the dentist isn’t as bad as you think, even for something as major as wisdom tooth removal.
First off, you won’t feel any pain. An anaesthetic will be used so you can’t feel the work being done.
It may be local anaesthetic – where you are awake and may feel a wee bit of pressure but no pain, sedation – where you’re awake but won’t remember much, or general anaesthetic – where you’re completely knocked out and won’t remember anything.
They type of anaesthetic will depend on the condition of your wisdom teeth, and how difficult your dentist or oral surgeon thinks extraction will be.
Recovery after treatment
The hardest part of the whole thing comes after the treatment.
Immediately after extraction, you’ll probably find yourself a little groggy, depending on the anaesthetic used. If you’ve had sedation or a general anaesthetic, then you’ll need someone there to take you home.
You will feel sore and tender for a few days as your gums heal, and eating may be a slight problem.
Everyone is different, so there is no set rule for recovery times or the amount of pain or swelling a person will experience.
Some are fine after a couple of days and can eat normally, while others live off soft foods like soup and ice-cream for a week.
Let us take care of your wisdom teeth removal
The dental industry has changed a lot in recent years, and treatment today is unrecognisable compared to that of a generation ago.
Wisdom teeth removal is no longer the multiple-day, painful, and dreaded experience it once was.
Modern treatment is quick, painless, and affordable, and with us, your personal experience and comfort are paramount.
We have a state-of-the-art, 3D X-ray scanner that can accurately show us your wisdom teeth and which path they’re likely to take as they grow.
This allows us to see exactly what’s going on, meaning we’re not guessing how much they’re impacting other teeth or how close they are to the nerve.
We also have an in-house sedationist that can take care of your sedation needs, as well as interest-free finance options available.
If you’re experiencing a toothache in any form, but suspect your wisdom teeth are coming through, call us today for a consultation.
Our friendly staff will be happy to discuss our wisdom teeth removal plans or answer any questions about how we can help.