Wisdom teeth once served an important purpose. Nowadays, however, they pose more problems than they solve. Don’t worry – that’s where MJM Family & Cosmetic Dentistry comes in! When we take your annual X-rays, we will closely monitor the position of your wisdom teeth. Once they pose a risk to the look, health, and function of your smile, we will carefully remove them, saving you from countless problems in the process. To schedule wisdom tooth extractions in Fairfax, VA, give us a call!
You may have heard about wisdom teeth before, but did you know that they have actually been around for thousands of years? In the past, wisdom teeth were meant to replace molars in case they fell out due to poor oral hygiene or primitive diets. Today, it’s much easier to practice oral care and maintain a consistent diet, but wisdom teeth continue to erupt.
It’s rare that a patient won’t need to have any wisdom teeth removed because the mouth is not typically large enough to accommodate them. If you begin to notice tooth pain in the back of your mouth and you are between the ages of 18 and 25, there’s a chance that your wisdom teeth are just beginning to erupt. Call our Fairfax dental office so one of our dedicated dentists can perform an exam. If we believe that your wisdom teeth are crowding your smile or putting you at risk for an oral infection, we will likely recommend removal.
At your consultation, we will determine several important factors that influence what your procedure will look like, including if you want sedation dentistry to calm your nerves. The day of your wisdom teeth removal, we’ll get you comfortably settled into the treatment chair before thoroughly numbing the area of your mouth that we’re working on.
If your wisdom teeth are below your gumline, then we will create an incision in your gums before using special instruments to remove them. If, on the other hand, they’ve already erupted, then we will simply use our tools to gently rock them loose. Before you leave, we will provide you with detailed aftercare instructions as well.
Following your wisdom tooth removal, it’s very important that you take the right steps to promote healing and prevent a painful condition known as dry socket. Make sure to:
Our Fairfax dental team is prepared to help you find freedom from the complications that can come from wisdom teeth. Before you book your consultation, though, you might want to gather more information about your third molars and what you can expect from the treatment process. To assist you, we have put together the following list of wisdom teeth FAQs, along with succinct and easy-to-understand answers. If your specific questions are not addressed here, reach out to us directly. We are eager to speak with you!
In modern times, wisdom teeth are considered to be vestigial. However, that was not always the case. In the ancient past, our ancestors ate a rougher diet that consisted of raw foods, such as meats, berries, nuts, and roots. They needed to have all the chewing power they could access, meaning that their wisdom teeth were important for their survival.
Today, though, humans eat a softer, more processed diet. A third set of molars is no longer necessary. The human mouth has also become smaller in general, so most people’s mouths simply cannot accommodate their wisdom teeth.
Since wisdom teeth often cause trouble, it might seem counterintuitive that they have such a flattering title. However, their name does not come from what they do. Rather, it comes from when they develop. They tend to develop much later than the other teeth, when a person is older and “wiser” than they were in their earlier years.
Most people develop four wisdom teeth. However, some people have more or fewer. One estimate even states that somewhere between 5% and 37% of people are missing at least one of their wisdom teeth.
Of course, it is important to remember that even if you cannot see your wisdom teeth, that does not mean you do not have them. In many cases, they remain impacted beneath the gumline. You may need to visit the dentist for an X-ray to find out for sure if you have them.
Most dentists prefer to remove the wisdom teeth when a patient is in late adolescence or early adulthood. This is before the wisdom teeth grow and become firmly embedded in the jaw, so removing them tends to be easier when a patient is relatively young.
However, if you are older, you can still undergo successful wisdom tooth removal. You might have a more complex procedure and a lengthier recovery time, but if extracting your wisdom teeth will benefit your oral health, any inconvenience will be worth it. Many people in their 30s, 40s, and older are able to undergo wisdom tooth removal.
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