Wisdom teeth- myths and facts
Speaker: Dr. Muralee Mohan BDS. MDS. MOSRCSEd(U.K). DNB. MBA. FPFA
Article: Dr.Nikhila Kashyap
Human beings should ideally have 12 permanent molars, 3 on each side upper and lower, out of which eruption of 1st and 2nd molar occur by the age of 6-7 and 11-15 years respectively, where as the 3rd molar i.e the wisdom tooth erupts by 17-24 years of age.
Why is it called as wisdom tooth?
The 3rd molar erupts into the oral cavity at the age where person is relatively wiser than during the eruption of other teeth, hence the name.
Why is it frequently missing in this generation kids?
The food habits of our ancestors included more of raw and fibrous food and they had the need of all 3 molars to chew and digest them, where as with changing dietary habits of the present generation, the need for strong powerful jaws has been eliminated. As a result the size of upper and lower jaws has been decreased; therefore the third molar may be considered a vestigial organ without any purpose or function. This is one of the reasons why it is frequently congenitally missing.
What does impacted 3rd molar mean?
When the 3rd molar is unable to erupt into the oral cavity completely because of obstruction from another tooth or bone or soft tissue or simply due to lack of space it gets embedded inside the jaw or it erupts only partially into the oral cavity. That is when it is called as an impacted tooth.
Is it compulsory to get the impacted tooth removed?
In most of the scenarios the impacted tooth will be causing trouble to the adjacent 2nd molar, by constantly applying pressure on it and there by causing jaw and ear pain. It also causes food lodgement in the region there by causing cavities in the otherwise healthy 2nd molar, Hence it is advised to get the impacted tooth surgically removed by the specialist.
Are there any side effects by getting your tooth surgically removed?
When the procedure of disimpaction (surgical removal of impacted tooth ) is done by an expert who is a maxillofacial surgeon and done under ideal protocols, there will not be any side effects due to this. It is one of the most common minor oral surgical procedures performed by most dentists.
What exactly happens in this procedure?
After the surgeon has administered local anaesthesia to the interested side of the jaw, you will experience numbness in that area, and once it is achieved a small cut is made on the gums and the bone is exposed, in some cases a small portion of bone is also drilled to ease the removal of the tooth, and once the tooth is out sutures are placed on the cut to aid in quick healing.
Youʼve got your wisdom tooth removed. Do you have to worry about your wisdom?
No, As discussed earlier it is just the linguistic name given to the tooth and it has nothing to do with your wisdom, So go ahead and get it plucked by an oral surgeon if it is bothering you in your day today activities.