Our third molars, also known as wisdom teeth, typically grow during our late teenage or early adult years. In most cases, these will be removed to protect your other pearly whites. While this is a regular practice in dentistry, many patients wonder why we grow in a third set of molars and why extracting them is necessary. Today, your Riverside Dental Group of California explains why this is and the benefit of extracting them.
The Function Of Wisdom Teeth
Humans have a total of thirty-two teeth, including four wisdom molars. Scientists believe that these molars were used to chew certain foods in the past. As we have evolved and changed our diets, we no longer need this extra set of molars. As mentioned above, these usually develop when we are older, hence the name.
The reason your dentist chooses for you to have these removed is because they can disrupt your other teeth. If they fully erupt, they can move around your teeth and cause misalignment. In other cases, they may not be able to completely grow in and become impacted. This can cause discomfort and put you at risk of infection.
Preparing For An Extraction
Because you have a total of four wisdom teeth, this removal will be longer and can have a longer recovery time. First, X-rays will be done to take a closer look at your oral cavity. This allows your oral surgeon to see precisely where the molars are located. Then, a local anesthetic will be used to numb the area. Be sure to have a friend or family member take you to and from your appointment, as the effects of anesthesia may last beyond your appointment. Once the numbing sets, the surgeon will make an incision and remove each wisdom tooth. The area will be stitched together, and gauze is usually placed to keep the mouth clean.
Your dentist will give you specific instructions for your aftercare, but there are a few general rules to follow. Avoid any hard-to-chew foods, alcohol, and soda. Do not smoke or drink through a straw because this can cause a dry socket. To reduce swelling, you can apply an ice pack and take prescribed painkillers as instructed. If you have any questions or concerns, call your dentist.
Schedule A Wisdom Tooth Removal
To schedule a checkup or other dental service, call your nearest Riverside Dental Group location today.
Riverside Dental Group at Magnolia in Riverside, CA at (951) 689-5031.
Riverside Dental Group at Woodcrest in Riverside, CA at (951) 776-9001.
Oasis Family Dental in Temecula, CA at (951) 695-2290
Dental Associates of Riverside in Riverside, CA at (951) 369-1001.
Dental Associates of Corona in Corona, CA at (951) 273-9580.