Do I Need My Wisdom Teeth OutAt Lake Villa Dental, we are a family dentist who specializes in both general and cosmetic dentistry. Our dentist in Lake Villa, Dr. Nallasamy, along with our wonderful hygienist, create a team of skilled professionals who can handle everything from a general check-up to full dental implants. Today, however, we are going to be specifically talking about wisdom teeth wisdom tooth extraction.

Wisdom teeth removal is a procedure that many people will undergo as their wisdom teeth, also called third molars, begin to form in their jaw. Wisdom teeth are called such because they are the last teeth to form, often coming in during a person’s late teens or early twenties, when a person is supposedly wiser. Around 80 percent of the population will have at least one, and up to four, wisdom teeth. Unfortunately, most of those people will not have enough space in their jaw to accommodate these new chompers. When this happens, wisdom tooth extraction is almost always necessary to maintain overall oral health.

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Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?

You may be wondering if so many people need to have their wisdom teeth removed, then why do we even have them? Like tailbones and appendixes, wisdom teeth are what is known as a vestigial structure. This means that they no longer serve a purpose, yet our bodies still have them. Early humans, whose jaws were much larger to accommodate these third molars, needed them to help chew and digest a diet largely consisting to tough foods like leaves, roots, and game meat. As the human diet changed, we lost the need for these four extra teeth. And while our jaws have shrunk significantly, most people will still form anywhere from one to four wisdom teeth. This can lead to complicated issues when these teeth do not have room to grow.

Wisdom Tooth Impaction

When wisdom teeth have the room to develop but not the room to erupt, they can become impacted. This means that they are either fully or partially trapped under the gum due to blockage from another tooth. Impaction not only makes the wisdom teeth hard to keep clean and care for, but it can also cause damage to neighboring teeth and cause all of the teeth in a person’s mouth to shift due to the pressure from the emerging tooth. In almost all cases of tooth impaction, the offending tooth or teeth will need to be removed in order to protect the rest of your healthy teeth.

Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Regular dental checkups in your late teens and early twenties are important because your dentist can monitor the development and eruption of your third molars. As wisdom teeth begin to develop, it takes some time for them to become deeply anchored into the jaw and for the roots to fully form. The sooner you get your wisdom teeth out, the easier the procedure will be as the roots may not have fully formed and the bone around the teeth is less dense. This not only makes for an easier extraction but also a shorter recovery time. However, even if you are sure your wisdom teeth have been in for a while, we still encourage you to schedule an appointment to ensure that they are not damaging your other teeth.

Schedule A Visit To Lake Villa Dental

If you are unsure about the state of your — or your teenager’s — wisdom teeth, be sure to schedule an appointment at Lake Villa Dental. Our dental clinic can perform necessary examinations and x-rays to determine if you may need wisdom tooth extraction in Lake Villa, Illinois, or if you are one of the lucky ones who do not have wisdom teeth at all!