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Wisdom tooth and extraction: it’s not as simple as it seems

The third molars are known as wisdom tooth because they erupt around the late teen years and early twenties, and this process is often painful. Throughout the years this has led people to believe that they have to be removed, but it’s not as simple as that.

As with every other problem in Dentistry, or any other medical specialty for that matter, each case has its own needs and complexities. If a few years ago it was believed that it was better to extract the wisdom teeth, to avoid decay and pain, nowadays there’s a more reserved approach.

Yes, wisdom teeth usually cause trouble: they are more prone to decay than any other teeth, because of their position, their eruption might misalign the other teeth, cause pain and sometimes they don’t even erupt fully, which can lead to serious infections in the bone.

Of course, in any of these situations is always better to extract! The third molars are vestigial teeth, so we don’t really need them. Actually, a lot of people are born without them.

But, if the wisdom teeth erupt normally, provoke no misalignment to the other teeth and show no sign of decay, there’s usually no need to submit a patient to a surgery and often uncomfortable recovery.

As long as people keep a proper oral hygiene, it’s possible to keep these teeth a lifetime with no problem whatsoever.

The extraction doesn’t have to be painful, but realistically speaking, there are cases where the position of the teeth can be very difficult to work with. If it is your case, this is one of the things that you might want to discuss with your doctor. It’s possible to extract the wisdom teeth under general anesthesia.

When having your wisdom tooth checked, the dentist should always perform a panoramic X-Ray or a CT Scan. This way, they can fully understand the needs of your particular case and plan accordingly.


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