ORAL SURGERY

Wisdom teeth


Everybody knows somebody (who knows somebody) who suffered devilish pain when their ungrown wisdom tooth was „chiselled out”. And there are others for whom it did not pose a problem at all. Whom to believe?


Preparing for the worst is coded in our genes. If a dental clinic is a place where we are always subjected to pain, why should it be an exception? Oral surgeons are brutal people and the scalpel and the drills – nothing good will come out of it anyway… We therefore go and watch a video on Youtube to figure out how wisdom teeth are extracted. And we find it is not a wise idea. By the way, why did it grow there if it has to be removed for almost everybody? But if it does not cause problems and it probably never will, why should we subject ourselves to such a terrible torture? It is better to click on and not to watch more videos about the procedure even if they are accompanied by soothing classical music. We delay the issue. This a natural way of decision making and nobody should be blamed for it. The decision is then reached sooner or later and we nerve ourselves to having our wisdom tooth/teeth removed – it all depends on our motivation. There are a brave few who would want to get over with it already during the consultation but they are a small minority.


Most people accept the need for extraction at the consultation and will arrange their life, work schedule or leave in a way that they could return within a few weeks. This is the most frequent case – fortunately.


A discussion about future eventual complications while sitting in the dentist’s chair during consultation will not be a motivating factor for everybody. As long as pain does not hit, why should the dentist cause pain by removing it? It did not cause problems until now so it probably never will. Well, the wisdom tooth will meet its fate in a few years anyway but it may cause issues for the patient till then. And this may mean loss of an otherwise healthy adjacent tooth…

The above does not obviously mean that wisdom teeth should „always and under all conditions” be removed. It will always be decided upon case by case: the dentist will give his/her opinion after careful examination and consulting the X-ray made. The most important parameters in decision making are as follows:

The need for extraction is first of all defined by the condition and location of the tooth.


In optimal cases, wisdom teeth do fully grow and can also participate in mastication together with their counterparts opposite to them. We may keep them till the end of our lives provided they are cleaned with due care.

The next scenario is if the wisdom teeth do not break through at all, they get stuck in the jawbone for certain reasons and remain fully covered with bone and gum. Here the dentist assesses the exact position of the tooth, its proximity to tooth No. 7 and the eventuality of a cyst around it. Such teeth frequently cause complaints in form of a strong, intermittent pressure or pain in the jawbones or dentition. Rotation or piling up of front teeth is also frequent and it may lead to esthetic issues. Removal of the tooth is usually recommended here, after individual assessment of the situation.

The most frequent occurrence, however, is when the tooth starts to grow but its growth is arrested by a lack of space and thus remains partly covered with bone and gum. This is what dentists see most often because it may cause a local inflammation of the gum the pain of which cannot sometimes be abated even with help of painkillers. Gum inflammation may occur even in patients with a good mouth hygiene as cleaning of these teeth covered with gum is virtually impossible. In case of progression, the tooth gets decayed due to a permanent inflammation and a build-up of pellicle, then breaks off and the entire tooth gets inflamed. Removal of such a tooth is more difficult and can only be extracted in pieces. If a wisdom tooth could only partially erupt, early intervention is definitely recommended.

 Reading all this you may rightfully ask: if almost all wisdom teeth need to be removed, why do they exist at all?


Actually, it is an evolutionary process and wisdom teeth are being slowly eliminated from our mouth but it is a very slow process. Younger generations frequently do not have them anymore. It is only during the first panoramic X-ray when we find that not even the tooth bud is present so they will never grow. Will it make these people less wise? Well, not really. But they will definitely avoid all problems that wisdom teeth are usually heir to. A lot of people would hail such a turn of affairs. Thus, we can daresay that less wisdom teeth are probably not more but are at least definitely better.

 

If you are not among these fortunate ones and are concerned about your wisdom teeth, or would simply like to receive customized information, please do brave a consultation.






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