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Wisdom Teeth – The “Oral Appendix”

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“Should I get my wisdom teeth removed if they don’t hurt me?” We often hear this question when discussing wisdom tooth extraction with patients and generally take a ‘wait and see’ approach where third molars are concerned. Dentists will usually leave them in the mouth unless it is obvious they will cause problems. However, we do keep a close eye on the way these teeth develop and are positioned and sometimes extraction is the best option.

Common Issues with Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth often don’t have enough room to erupt normally. In this case, if we were to leave them in your mouth they could try to push other teeth out of place or they will only partially erupt. Partial eruption can increase the chances of decay and infection and will put adjacent teeth at risk of becoming infected.

Getting It Over and Done With

If it obvious your wisdom teeth will need extracting at some stage during life then it is better to have this procedure when you are younger. This is because the tooth roots gradually fuse with the jawbone over time, making it slightly harder for a tooth to be extracted.

The good news is that this procedure is generally free from complications, regardless of age and recovery is usually very straightforward.  Wisdom teeth are definitely the “oral appendix” of the mouth. Although it might be nice to have these teeth, provided they don’t cause complications, they are definitely not necessary. Your third molars are more of a throwback to a time when diets were rougher and harder to chew and required larger and stronger jaws.

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