One of the most common myths surrounding wisdom teeth removal is that everyone needs to have it removed.
20 April 2023
Wisdom teeth removal is a common dental procedure that can help prevent a variety of problems, including overcrowding, infection, and decay. Despite its commonality, there are many myths surrounding it that can cause anxiety and confusion for those who need to undergo the procedure. In this blog post, we’ll debunk some of the most common myths about this and provide accurate information to help you make an informed decision about your oral health. So, if you’re worried about getting your wisdom teeth removed, read on to learn the truth about this important dental procedure.
Myth #1: Everyone Needs Their Wisdom Teeth Removed
One of the most common myths surrounding wisdom teeth removal is that everyone needs to have it removed. While it’s true that many people do need their wisdom teeth removed, it’s not necessarily true for everyone. In fact, some people can keep their wisdom teeth without any issues. Let’s discuss this myth in more detail and provide information about how to determine whether you need to have your wisdom teeth removed.
There are several reasons why this myth is not true. Firstly, not everyone develops wisdom teeth. Some people may only develop one or two, while others may not develop any at all. Secondly, even if someone does develop wisdom teeth, they may not cause any problems. Some people have enough room in their mouth to accommodate them without any issues, while others may experience mild discomfort but do not require removal. Lastly, the decision to remove it should be based on a case-by-case basis and evaluated by a dental professional. Factors such as the size and position of the wisdom teeth, the health of the surrounding teeth and gums, and the patient’s age and overall health should all be taken into consideration before determining whether removal is necessary. Therefore, it’s important not to assume that everyone needs their wisdom teeth removed, but to consult with a dental professional to determine the best course of action for your individual situation.
How to Determine Whether or Not Wisdom Teeth Removal is Necessary
Determining whether or not wisdom teeth removal is necessary is an important decision that should be made in consultation with a dental professional. Here are some factors that a dentist may consider when determining if it’s necessary:
- The size and position of the wisdom teeth: If the wisdom teeth are large and impacted (meaning they are partially or fully trapped beneath the gum line), they may cause problems with adjacent teeth or gums.
- The patient’s age: They typically emerge between the ages of 17 and 25. If the wisdom teeth have fully emerged and are not causing any problems, removal may not be necessary. However, as a person ages, the roots of the wisdom teeth may become more firmly anchored in the jawbone, making removal more difficult.
- The health of the surrounding teeth and gums: If they are causing problems with adjacent teeth or gums, removal may be necessary to prevent further damage or infection.
- The patient’s overall health: Some medical conditions, such as bleeding disorders or heart conditions, may require special precautions during surgery. In some cases, a dental professional may recommend removal due to the risks involved.
Myth #2: Wisdom Teeth Removal is Always Painful
For many people, the thought of having their wisdom teeth removed can be intimidating, in part due to the misconception that the procedure is always painful. However, the truth is that it doesn’t have to be a painful or uncomfortable experience. The myth that it is always painful is not true. While it’s true that the procedure can cause some discomfort or soreness, advancements in dental technology and anesthesia techniques have made the process much smoother and more comfortable than in the past.
Here are a few reasons why:
- Local anesthesia: Dentists will typically administer a local anesthetic to numb the area around the wisdom teeth before the procedure. This means that patients won’t feel any pain during the actual removal process.
- Sedation options: In addition to local anesthesia, patients may also have the option of receiving sedation to help them relax during the procedure. Sedation can range from mild to deep, depending on the patient’s preference and the complexity of the procedure
- Modern techniques: Dentists now use modern techniques and tools to remove wisdom teeth, which can help minimise discomfort and speed up recovery time. For example, some dentists use lasers to remove the teeth, which can result in less bleeding and swelling.
- Post-operative care: Following the procedure, dentists will provide patients with instructions on how to care for the extraction site and manage any pain or discomfort. This can include prescribing pain medication, providing ice packs, and recommending certain foods to eat or avoid.
Myth #3: Wisdom Teeth Removal Requires a Lengthy Recovery Time
If you’ve heard that this procedure requires a lengthy recovery time, you may be surprised to learn that this is a myth. While it’s true that you’ll need to take some time to rest and recover after the surgery, the recovery time is typically much shorter than most people expect.
The myth that wisdom teeth removal requires a lengthy recovery time is not entirely true. While the recovery process does vary depending on the individual, in most cases it is much shorter than people assume. There are several reasons for this:
- Advances in dental technology and techniques have made wisdom teeth removal a less invasive procedure. This means less trauma to the surrounding tissues and a faster recovery time.
- The use of local anesthesia during the procedure means that the patient will not feel any pain during the surgery. This allows the dentist to perform the procedure quickly and efficiently, minimising the time needed for recovery.
- Following post-operative care instructions, such as resting, avoiding certain foods, and taking medication as prescribed, can help speed up the recovery process and reduce the risk of complications.
The recovery time after wisdom teeth removal can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the number of teeth removed, the difficulty of the extraction, and the patient’s age and overall health. In general, most people can expect to experience some discomfort and swelling for the first few days following the procedure. However, the majority of people are able to resume normal activities within a week to ten days after the surgery.
Here is a general timeline for the recovery process:
First 24 hours: During the first 24 hours after the procedure, it’s important to rest and avoid any strenuous activity. You’ll likely experience some swelling and discomfort during this time, which can be managed with ice packs and pain medication.
Days 2-3: The swelling and discomfort should begin to subside during the second and third days after the procedure. You can continue to use ice packs and pain medication as needed.
Days 4-7: By the fourth day, you should begin to feel more comfortable and the swelling should continue to decrease. You may also be able to start eating soft foods at this point.
Days 8-10: By the end of the first week to ten days, most people are able to resume normal activities and return to work or school. However, it’s important to continue to follow any post-operative care instructions provided by your dental professional to ensure a smooth and speedy recovery.
Myth #4: Wisdom Teeth Removal Always Results in Dry Socket
It’s a common belief that wisdom teeth removal always results in dry socket, a painful condition that occurs when the blood clot at the site of the extraction becomes dislodged or dissolves before the wound has had a chance to heal. However, this is actually a myth. While dry socket can occur after the procedure, it’s not a guaranteed outcome, and there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing this condition.
The incidence of dry socket after wisdom teeth removal is relatively low, with estimates ranging from 2-5% of cases. Additionally, there are several factors that can increase or decrease a patient’s risk of developing dry socket, such as smoking, poor oral hygiene, and the use of oral contraceptives.
What Dry Socket is and Why it Occurs
A dry socket, also known as alveolar osteitis, is a painful condition that can occur after a tooth extraction, including wisdom teeth removal. When a tooth is removed, a blood clot forms in the socket where the tooth used to be, which helps to protect the underlying bone and nerves as the area heals. In some cases, this blood clot can become dislodged or dissolve prematurely, leaving the bone and nerves exposed to air, food, and bacteria in the mouth. This can lead to pain, inflammation, and infection, and may require additional treatment to manage. The exact cause of dry sockets is not fully understood, but it’s believed to be related to factors such as smoking, poor oral hygiene, and trauma to the extraction site.
Smooth and Safe Wisdom Teeth Removal Experience
While there are many myths surrounding wisdom teeth removal, the best way to determine whether or not you need the procedure and to ensure a safe and speedy recovery is to consult with a dental professional. At Innovative Dental, we prioritise the well-being and satisfaction of our patients, and our experienced team of dental professionals is committed to providing the highest quality care possible. By following our post-operative instructions and taking proactive steps to minimise discomfort and reduce the risk of complications, you can enjoy a smooth and successful wisdom teeth removal experience. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you achieve optimal oral health.