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It’s hard to believe that in some cultures, wisdom teeth are seen as a mark of good fortune.
In the United States, however, they’re often treated like unwanted baggage thanks to the high risk for issues such as crowding and impacted wisdom teeth.
Even though it may seem like you’ll never need them again after your last few years in school have passed, there is still an increased chance for problems with these pesky molars later on down the line.
Wisdom teeth are the third molars found at the back of the mouth.
They are the last to develop among all adult teeth.
Most people have four wisdom teeth: two at the front and two at the back. While they are mostly harmless, bad growth of wisdom teeth can cause several complications.
Many believe that our mouths and jaws have evolved due to changes within our diet. The wisdom tooth is one of the hardest areas of our teeth.
Since it is a molar, its design helps grind, chew, and break down food.
Having fewer than four wisdom teeth isn’t an issue as most adults don’t have the complete set of four.
Wisdom teeth usually appear between the ages of 17 and 21.
The name is a reference to how they grow once we reach a more mature age.
Some discomfort is normal during growth, but a sign of pain is a red flag for the wisdom tooth.
Many people don’t need to deal with any wisdom tooth problems as they age, meaning that the tooth grows in completely and has the correct positioning.
Dentists only recommend removing the wisdom tooth when it poses a risk to the other teeth.
Some dentists believe that removing a wisdom tooth early can be a precautionary move so that the patient doesn’t have any adverse side effects.
Some dentists advocate early removal because wisdom teeth are easier to remove during the first few years of growth.
Since they are the last to grow, they are often deeply rooted and hard at the stage of full eruption.
However, even with early removal, you’ll still experience pain and bleeding.
If you maintain good oral hygiene, your wisdom tooth will not bother you for the rest of your life.
The only times when you need to take them out is when the following things happen below:
If left unattended, a bad wisdom tooth can cause gum disease and affect your other teeth.
The infection will lead to bad breath and unbearable pain. In this case, medication and extraction is the recommended path.
There are rare oral surgery cases, but this only occurs if the wisdom tooth grows underneath the gums towards the other teeth.
Local anesthesia will reduce the pain and even inhibit it, so you don’t feel anything until after the procedure.
For more complex scenarios, dentists use general anesthesia.
After the procedure, you’ll experience pain for a few hours, and then it subsides. You might not be able to fully open your mouth for a few days.
If the pain returns, it may be a sign of infection. Using antiseptic mouthwashes can prevent this complication.
If the problem persists, then a return trip to the dentist will be necessary for an antibiotic prescription.
Complications are a rare occurrence after the procedure. You may experience temporary numbness or some bleeding, but it does not last long.
After the operation, you can take a painkiller like paracetamol or ibuprofen to relieve the pressure.
Do not take aspirin as it will increase the chance of bleeding.
Take painkillers every eight hours to avoid going over the recommended usage.
If you experience swelling, you can use an ice pack for relief.
There are many things to avoid when your gums are recovering.
Water or warm tea is ideal for drinks. You must also choose food that you can crush, like pasta or potatoes.
Even if you feel better, taking extra precautions will help ensure that the healing process goes smoothly.
While you can expect relief after an extraction, some complications may occur.
These scenarios happen at an average of 1 out of every 100 cases.
The cost of wisdom tooth removal averages at $99 per tooth.
If the tooth is impacted, the price increases to around $230 to $340.
If you have concerns with the price, you can always inquire to see your various options.
You may have coverage with medical insurance or a dental insurance provider. Other types of insurance can cover wisdom tooth removal.
If you feel any symptoms or signs of a bad wisdom tooth, having a dental checkup can prevent the issue from worsening.
Having a wisdom tooth can be a tedious experience when it is impacted.
Going through the procedure will mean a great relief once the wound has recovered. Do not let the problem linger, as it may end up costing you more.
A wisdom tooth can affect your alignment at an early stage, so it’s essential to have regular checkups to spot any problems before any need arises.