April 12, 2018 / by Emma Jones

There comes a time in one’s adulthood when the following question is due: Is wisdom teeth removal necessary? Well, the answer is not as straightforward as one might expect since it all depends on the specific person in question, but in general, wisdom teeth need to be removed because our jaws don’t provide enough space for them to grow, and that can lead to many complications.

When there isn’t enough space, wisdom teeth grow out in at an angle that causes discomfort or they don’t fully emerge, which can effect the entire mouth. Also called third molars, the wisdom teeth can damage the teeth which are right next to them – the second molars. That is why all dentists recommend removing wisdom teeth as soon as possible, before they become a problem which can lead to a more complicated surgery.

When on this topic, a naturally arising question is: Why isn’t there enough room for the wisdom teeth? Well, simply put – our jaws don’t grow as big as they used to. There was a time when the human jaw could comfortably accommodate all 32 teeth, including the third molars. These are the last teeth to come into place, and having them was very beneficial to our early ancestors who ate uncooked, tough to chew foods that wore away their teeth a bit faster. But since cooking and making food softer hit the scene, the size of our jaws has diminished significantly.

By age of 12, we all usually have two molars grown out, so that’s why wisdom teeth are called the third molars. Molars are slightly bigger than the rest of the teeth and easily stand out. To check if you have room for your wisdom teeth, you can put your finger behind your second molar and if you feel a flat surface, then you might just have enough room for the wisdom teeth to grow out. However, even if that is the case, removing wisdom teeth might still be necessary, so you should always consult a professional regarding this matter.

Another common question is when it is best time to remove the wisdom teeth. According to experts, it is best to do this procedure before the roots have fully developed. If the roots are fully grown, it becomes more difficult to have them removed and there is a greater risk for complications to develop. The best time season-wise is right before the summer starts because usually this is a season when stress is lower, colds are not as common and it would be easier for the wound to heal. The healing time usually takes about a week, depending on the type of anaesthesia used and how well you have followed your doctor’s instructions for proper care after surgery – if done well, the wounds can heal in about four days.