Wisdom teeth–the late bloomers among your pearls that can cause you serious discomfort. Also known as third molars, wisdom teeth are the last ones to form at the farthest back in the mouth, typically during the late teens or early twenties. Given the right condition (and probably some sort of luck), some people develop healthy wisdom teeth. For others, however, there may not be enough room for these extra molars, causing them to crowd the adjacent teeth as they grow at an awkward angle or become impacted.
When impacted, the wisdom tooth or part of it may be trapped inside the gums, creating a space where bacteria can accumulate. In cases where only a portion of the teeth erupts, a flap may be formed where food particles could get stuck. This would generally be difficult to clean, leading to infection, tooth decay, and immense pain; in addition to foul breath and possible pus discharge. Your trusted dentist near Scranton, PA is likely to recommend extraction before the problem progresses into something worse, such as the development of tumors, extensive tooth decay, or pericoronitis (swelling of the affected gum).
Theories state that adaptation may be to blame for modern wisdom tooth problems. Early humans needed the extra teeth because they had to chew on tougher food. They also had larger jaws to accommodate them. Today, however, life—and food—aren’t as tough, so there’s no need for powerful jaws and extra teeth. In fact, according to an article by Store a Tooth, about 35% of the human population do not actually develop wisdom teeth.
Treatment for Problem Wisdom Teeth
Your dentist will first examine the position and health of your wisdom tooth. If it is impacted, surgery may be required. In milder cases, they can be extracted just like any other teeth. Dentists generally use anesthetics to numb the area, but some dentists, like Dr. James C. DeFinnis, DMD, at Back Mountain Dental, offers IV sedation dentistry for nearby Scranton residents.
With IV sedation, patients are put in a semi-conscious state. This allows the dentist to perform dental procedures, like extraction, with little resistance even from the most fearful patients, but still be able to communicate with the patient. Once the procedure is done, the patient will have little to no memory of it. Sedation dentistry is highly recommended for people with dental anxiety or fear, or those who have conditions, like sensitive teeth, strong gag reflex, and jaw pain or back pain, which make it hard for the dentist to perform the necessary treatment.