Does Everyone Have Wisdom Teeth?

Although none of us have 25,000 teeth like snails, some of us have more teeth than others. This is because of the somewhat mysterious wisdom teeth. They lurk in the back of your mouth as your permanent teeth come in, but typically don’t emerge until between the ages of 17-21. While many people have four wisdom teeth, some have fewer. And some people don’t have any wisdom teeth at all! Here's a little more information about wisdom teeth and why we have them.

Why Are Some People Born Without Wisdom Teeth?

For many of our patients at North Richland Hills Dentistry, wisdom teeth require surgical removal before they cause problems with alignment or crowding. However, some patients don’t need wisdom teeth surgery because their jaws are large enough to accommodate wisdom teeth. Why is it that some people never develop wisdom teeth at all? Partly due to genetics and partly because our bodies have evolved away from needing them.

Why Were Wisdom Teeth Necessary in the Past?

In the past, our ancestors had very different diets. They foraged for foods that were harder to eat, like leaves, bark and tough meats. To chew, they relied on their powerful wisdom teeth to grind down the tougher materials. Now that our diets have changed, that extra grinding power is no longer necessary.

Is Wisdom Tooth Surgery Painful?

Wisdom tooth surgery is a preventive measure that can actually save you pain in the long run. After all, we only remove wisdom teeth when we’re worried that they’ll put your oral health at risk. Removing wisdom teeth helps avoid crowding issues, misalignment, or painful impaction. This happens when wisdom teeth become trapped in your gums or jawbone as they try to emerge. During a wisdom tooth extraction you shouldn’t feel any pain because the area will be numb. After surgery, you may experience some swelling and discomfort for a few days. If you carefully follow our aftercare instructions, you’ll be back to normal after about a week.

Wisdom Teeth Removal in North Richland Hills

Fortunately, if you need your wisdom teeth removed, there's no need to go to an oral surgeon. We handle wisdom teeth removal right here at North Richland Hills Dentistry. When you visit us for your regular exam every six months, we'll be able to monitor your wisdom teeth. Dr. Desai will know if they need to be removed before they cause you any trouble. To ask our team any questions about wisdom teeth or to schedule your next appointment, call us today!

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Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

Do I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth, also known as your third set of molars, are located at the back of your mouth. Most people have four - two on top and two on the bottom - but some people have less or even none! You probably know at least a handful of people who have stories about getting these teeth removed. Do you have to have them taken out?

Why Wisdom Teeth Are Removed

At North Richland Hills Dentistry, we offer wisdom tooth removal. There are three situations where we’ll recommend removal.

  1. The teeth haven’t emerged all the way.
  2. If your wisdom teeth have only partially erupted, there’s a space that’s challenging to clean. Bacteria can collect in this area, leading to a higher risk for gum disease and infections.

  3. The teeth are impacted.
  4. Impacted wisdom teeth haven’t erupted. Instead of emerging from your gums, they grow at odd angles and can cause complications like decay, cysts, or infections. Sometimes they cause a lot of discomfort. For most people with impacted wisdom teeth, extraction is the best decision.

  5. The teeth crowd your other teeth.
  6. If your wisdom teeth don’t have enough room to erupt, they grow at the wrong angle. They can press up against your other teeth and cause problems like pain, damage, and bite misalignment. They can cause teeth that were straight to go crooked.

Signs You Might Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

Many people get their wisdom teeth removed when they begin to erupt. There are certain signs to watch for, like swollen, tender gums, discomfort in your jaw, and shifting teeth. During your dental exams, Dr. Desai will check on your wisdom teeth and let you know if extraction is the best choice.

Wisdom Tooth Removal in North Richland Hills

Wisdom tooth removal is a surgical procedure, so we'll use dental sedation to keep you comfortable. You’ll need someone to drive you home. Some swelling and tenderness are normal for the next 1-2 weeks, but please don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re experiencing pain or other issues. Wisdom tooth removal is one of the most common dental extractions, so don’t worry if you’re told you need to have them out. We’re here to make the experience as smooth and comfortable as possible. Please contact us with any questions or to schedule an appointment!

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