Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth to erupt, usually in the late teens or early twenties, while sometimes they are not present at all or are too many or too few. These teeth are relicts from the past, when they were necessary to chew hard and raw food, today being functionally unnecessary, and due to changes to the shape of the jaw modern humans often do not have enough room for them.
It is exactly the latter that often causes complications during the eruption of wisdom teeth, which might include:
– difficult eruption
– partial eruption or impacted third molars
– retinated third molars
Such complications occur both if the space for the eruption of third molars is insufficient or if they are mispositioned. Sometimes the very shape of the tooth can hinder its eruption, while in other cases growth impulses are missing.
On the bases of the severity of each case the dentist can choose to try to save the tooth, helping it to erupt by making a small cut on the mucosa covering it, though in more difficult situations the tooth will have to be extracted. In fact, retinatedor impacted third molars can cause inflammations and cists, though a difficult eruption can cause a lot pain by itself, and can often be accompanied by swelling, difficulty to open to mouth, fever and pain in other parts of the head.
The extraction of wisdom teeth is performed in the same way as that of any other tooth, though their position at the back of the jaw and in case of some of the aforementioned problems, it can become more complicated. The procedure is usually carried out under local anaesthesia. Since these teeth are functionally redundant and the position of other teeth will not be hindered by their loss, replacing them is not necessary.
Post-procedure recovery varies individually, though pain and swelling often occur, thus antibiotics and analgesics can be prescribed. In case of prolonged or subsequent bleeding a check up with the dentist is advised.
It is important to follow the dental surgeon’s instructions and treat the wound only after blood clot formation, when antiseptics can be applied.