Your Dentist in Waco on Why We Have Wisdom Teeth

July 22, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Rick Cofer @ 2:06 pm

young family smiling beside a poolThere are at least three body parts a human can do without: the gallbladder, tonsils, and wisdom teeth. Dr. Cofer may not be an expert in the first two, but as your dentist in Waco, he has seen his fair share of wisdom teeth. And the most common question people have when they find out they need to have their teeth removed is this: why do we have them, anyway? That’s a fair thing to wonder. After all, why would the body grow an extra pair of teeth if chances are good they’re just going to get infected or cause you pain anyway? The answer, in this week’s blog post…

We Used to Need Wisdom Teeth

The wisdom teeth are a third/extra set of molars that usually erupt (emerge from beneath the gums) between ages 15 and 21 or so. Centuries ago, when humans were eating a rough diet and dental hygiene practices weren’t exactly a “thing” yet, having a third set of teeth really came in handy since the first ones usually fell out, anyway. These days, though, our eating and cleaning habits are friendlier to the teeth, and most of us are lucky to keep them around for longer.

What Can Go Wrong

While our lifestyle habits have evolved, our mouths haven’t quite caught up yet. Not everyone has wisdom teeth, but people who do will usually need to have them removed because there simply isn’t enough room in the gums for them. The third molars may become crowded, pushing your other teeth out of alignment or putting you at an increased risk of tooth decay by making it more difficult to brush and floss. The teeth may also grow in at an angle and/or become trapped beneath the gum line. Infection or impaction is common with the wisdom teeth — and because your gums allow bacteria easy entry into the bloodstream, an infection in these teeth can quickly mean bad news for your overall health.

Comfortable Wisdom Tooth Extractions

Dr. Cofer performs wisdom tooth extractions as needed from the comfort of our office. Most procedures are surgical, meaning he opens your gums, removes the tooth in pieces, and closes the treatment site with stitches. If the tooth has erupted smoothly from the gum line, however, a simple extraction may be possible. During a simple extraction, your dentist gently removes the tooth with forceps-like instruments. Recovery from a simple extraction is quicker than with a surgical one.

Whatever type of extraction you or your child need, you can feel confident that Dr. Cofer and our team will handle it with the utmost ease and efficiency. Anesthesia and sedation are available to help our patients of all ages achieve complete comfort during the procedure.

Questions? Contact Us Today!

If you feel like your own wisdom teeth or those of your son or daughter need to be taken out, please don’t hesitate to seek a professional opinion. Extraction can help prevent the teeth from becoming infected and putting your overall health at risk. Request an appointment with your general and children’s dentist in Waco, Dr. Cofer, today!

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