The very last teeth that most people get are the wisdom teeth. These teeth are also considered your third molars and they typically begin to grow early in your adult years. It is quite common for people to have their wisdom teeth removed, whether due to pain, infection, or overcrowding in the mouth, and many people even have them removed as a preventative measure, eliminating future problems with their oral health.
The Role of Wisdom Teeth
It is thought that wisdom teeth were originally needed back in the day of the caveman, when foods were rougher and tougher. It was at this time that the third set of molars helped to properly chew and digest food. Today, our diets are much softer and we also have many more luxuries, such as proper utensils to cut up our food, making it much easier to eat our food without requiring the power of third molars.
Deciding to Pull Wisdom Teeth
A large majority of people have their wisdom teeth pulled right away, whether due to pain, overcrowding or the fact that they are impacted. Many people also have them pulled even when the teeth and tissues surrounding them are perfectly healthy. This is in an effort to be proactive as almost 80 percent of people that retain their wisdom teeth end up experiencing issues down the road, requiring the teeth to be pulled out at that point. The benefit of pulling them before anything is wrong eliminates the need for further treatment.
The decision to retain or pull wisdom teeth is a personal decision as well as one that is best made with your dentist. If there are obvious issues or serious pain, the decision is typically an easy one, but if your teeth are healthy, you can discuss the pros and cons of pulling those wisdom teeth with us to help you make the right decision.