September 25, 2021
Wisdom teeth extraction is one of the most common dental surgeries. But even still, wisdom teeth and wisdom teeth removal can inspire a lot of questions. Why are they called wisdom teeth? Why do they need to be removed? And can wisdom teeth grow back once they are extracted? Here are answers to some of the most common questions about wisdom teeth.
Why are they called wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are additional molars, also known as third molars. These third molars are called wisdom teeth because they usually coincide with adulthood, erupting in young adults around the ages of 17 to 21, these third molars are commonly known as wisdom teeth.
Why do we develop wisdom teeth?
The development of wisdom teeth dates back to our distant ancestors. A lack of oral hygiene and dental care often led to the loss of many adult teeth. The third molars would grow in, causing the teeth to realign and fill the spaces of missing teeth. However, through evolution and advancement, we retain more of our permanent teeth and the need for third molars is less common. Over time our jaws began to shrink, and now there is simply not enough room in the mouth for wisdom teeth to grow in without causing several complications.
Why do wisdom teeth need to be removed?
Several problems now stem from the growth and eruption of wisdom teeth. They can cause crowding of the other teeth. Wisdom teeth can also grow sideways or in another undesirable position. It may also be the case that wisdom teeth only partially erupt or remain just under the gumline and contribute to chronic pain and infection.
When should patients have wisdom teeth removed?
It is recommended patients undergo wisdom teeth extraction in their late teens or early twenties. At this stage, dentists can detect the molars, project the likely path they will grow in, and determine the risk of development. Also, young adult patients tend to have less challenging surgeries, fewer complications, and shorter recovery times after oral surgeries. That said, not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth extracted. Some patients have plenty of room in the jaw and wisdom teeth erupt normally. And if they keep up with dental hygiene and regular dental visits, the third molars will remain healthy and cavity-free.
Can wisdom teeth grow back after they have been removed?
The simple answer is no, wisdom teeth do not grow back once removed. Unlike primary teeth, wisdom teeth are secondary teeth and no tooth bud remains once permanent teeth are extracted. So there is nothing to grow in after removal. That said, a small percentage of the population has more than the usual number of wisdom teeth, also known as supernumerary teeth. And these can make it look and feel like extracted wisdom teeth grow back after removal.
What are supernumerary teeth?
The condition of having supernumerary teeth is known as hyperdontia. Patients can have extra primary teeth or permanent teeth, and supernumerary teeth can grow anywhere in the curved area of the jaw. Extra primary teeth are most common, often growing in directly behind the first set of teeth. But hyperdontia can occur with extra sets of wisdom teeth in the back of the mouth as well.
What happens if a patient has an extra set of third molars?
Some patients with hyperdontia do not require any treatment. Others will simply need to have some or all of their supernumerary teeth extracted. Again, it has everything to do with the development of the other teeth and whether or not the size of the jawbone can accommodate the extra teeth.