Siavash Siv Eftekhari, M.D., DMD


Wisdom Teeth Removal: Myths Versus Reality | Richardson, TX

Wisdom Teeth Removal: Myths Versus Reality | Richardson, TX

Photo By By Stuart Miles at Shutterstock

At NextGen OMS in Richardson, TX, we specialize in both complicated dental procedures and more routine ones, such as wisdom teeth removal. We cater to clients who are nervous about their upcoming dental procedure and provide a personalized assessment of each patient, answering all your questions and walking you through every step of your procedure so you know what to expect.

Wisdom teeth typically come in during your late teens or early twenties and are a third molar, set at the very back of your mouth. It’s thought that these teeth were an evolutionary response to tooth loss before people had better oral care and hygiene. For example, primitive man may have lost molars due to disease or injury or excessive wear by using teeth as tools. In turn, wisdom teeth developed as a later-in-life response, naturally replacing lost teeth. However, since many people now have excellent dental care and other options to replace lost teeth, such as dental implants, wisdom teeth have become more nuisance than a benefit and wisdom teeth removal is a necessity. 

We’ve heard many misconceptions about wisdom teeth and the removal procedure, and today, we’re addressing fact versus fiction for wisdom teeth removal.

Not everyone has wisdom teeth.

Fact! Some people may not have wisdom teeth at all, while others may only have upper or lower wisdom teeth come in.

If I have wisdom teeth, do I have to have them taken out?

Fiction! Unless your wisdom teeth are causing crowding in your mouth with your other teeth, or unless they’re impacted, then your dentist may opt to let them stay.

Summertime is the best time to have wisdom teeth taken out.

This has a little bit of fact and a little bit of fiction. While there is no “best time of year” for this procedure from a physical standpoint, many people choose to have the procedure done in the summer, unless it’s an emergency. Because wisdom teeth come in between the ages of 18-22, most people are in school during the fall, winter, and spring. Therefore, summer is usually chosen for wisdom teeth removal so that the patient doesn’t miss school.

If my wisdom teeth don’t hurt, I don’t have to have them removed.

Fiction! Just because your wisdom teeth don’t cause pain now doesn’t mean they won’t cause pain or problems down the line. Wisdom teeth are often removed before they’re fully formed, meaning that the root hasn’t completely embedded itself in your jaw. Removing the teeth while they’re still forming means a less invasive procedure and less pain for you.

In addition to a less painful wisdom teeth removal process and faster recovery time, having the procedure completed proactively eliminates the chances that the wisdom teeth will crowd your other teeth, causing them to shift and making it more difficult to clean them. The harder it is to clean your teeth, the more likely you’ll develop cavities and gum disease – and those do hurt!

You can’t eat after wisdom teeth are removed.

Fiction – with a little bit of fact. Immediately after the procedure, you’ll likely experience swelling and soreness, and soft foods, such as yogurt, applesauce, or a smoothie, may be best for your mouth. However, your dentist will provide an aftercare plan for you, including a schedule of what you can eat as your mouth heels. In general, though, spicy, chewy, and hard foods should be avoided.

Almost everyone has an impacted wisdom tooth.

Fact! An impacted wisdom tooth is one that’s growing at an angle, not in line with your other teeth. Or, it’s a wisdom tooth that’s stuck in your jaw and not “dropping down” into the regular tooth line. Whichever way the impacted tooth is growing, it will cause significant problems in your mouth. When the wisdom tooth is trapped below the gum line, it can become infected and cause an abscess. The gum damage and infection can spread to the gums around your healthy teeth, causing them damage too. The tooth can also shift in the gum and start growing parallel. Left unchecked, the tooth can interfere with the opening and closing of your jaw.

Wisdom teeth removal hurts.

Fiction! With advances in dental technology, including sedation dentistry and better, more precise extraction tools and techniques, it’s likely that the most you’ll feel during the procedure are a little pressure and tugging. Other than that, your dentist will take great care to ensure that you’re properly anesthetized and even offer sedation dentistry if you have a true phobia of dental surgery.

You will be sore after the procedure, but often, over-the-counter pain medication and some warm or cold compresses can help alleviate much of the pain.

My dentist can tell early on whether or not I have wisdom teeth.

Fact! If you have regular dental exams, you’ll have x-rays once or twice per year. These X-rays allow your dentist to spot problems early, including the formation of wisdom teeth, and proactively treat them. It’s not just wisdom teeth, your dentist spots. X-rays can also be used to spot tiny cavities or the very early signs of gum disease, while they’re still treatable.

Wisdom teeth grow back.

Fiction! When you undergo wisdom teeth removal, the teeth are removed for good. In fact, after your permanent teeth replace your baby teeth, that’s it – you won’t have any more teeth growing back. This is why regular check-ups and proper oral hygiene are so essential.

Schedule Your Wisdom Teeth Removal

At NextGen OMS of Richardson, TX we offer comprehensive oral care and dental procedures. We work with children, teens, and adults for everything from routine check-ups to complicated tooth extractions. We also offer teeth replacement services, such as dental implants.

If you feel pain in your jaw from wisdom teeth or notice that the wisdom teeth you have will start causing complications and problems in your mouth, we can complete your wisdom teeth removal in our office, often as a same-day procedure for them all. Every procedure is different, as we offer custom treatment plans for each patient. Give us a call today or chat with us online to schedule your personalized consultation today!