Whenever we have a question we’re afraid to ask out loud, we go to the internet. In this case, you might be wondering: can wisdom teeth grow back? No, they can’t! It’s a one-time thing that you will never have to worry about again. With that being said, while you’re here, let’s learn a little bit more about your wisdom teeth and why your dentist may suggest wisdom teeth removal in Irvine.
Can Wisdom Teeth Grow Back?
Your wisdom teeth are the final set of molars to grow in. There are typically four of them, but there is a mere 2% chance that you could have more. In those rare occurrences, the extra teeth are called supernumerary teeth. Fortunately, they are almost always clearly visible on your x-rays, so their presence will not come as a surprise down the road.
When Do Wisdom Teeth Emerge?
If you have enough space for your wisdom teeth to emerge normally, then they typically start to poke through in your late teens through to your early twenties. Unfortunately, many people do not have enough space for their wisdom teeth to grow in properly. In these cases the wisdom teeth are considered “impacted,” and a number of problems can occur.
Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?
Given the number of problems that wisdom teeth can cause, you may ask yourself why we have them in the first place. Although there is some debate, the general consensus is that our wisdom teeth are essentially a vestigial structure. That means that they are left over from an earlier stage in human evolution, and we just don’t really need them anymore.
Thousands of years ago, human beings had larger jaws equipped to consume tougher food items. At that point, we needed all three sets of molars and a stronger jaw to survive. As time passed, human beings have adapted to a somewhat softer diet that requires less rigorous chewing. The change in diet allowed us to develop a slightly smaller jaw, but most of us still have the extra teeth. According to evolutionary biologists that is the most likely explanation for the presence of our wisdom teeth. Over many more generations, it’s likely that human beings will cease to develop wisdom teeth entirely if the current pattern continues.
What Complications Can Wisdom Teeth Cause?
Do you have enough space in your jaw and are your wisdom teeth in the proper position prior to emerging? Then there is no reason that you cannot have perfect dental health while keeping your wisdom teeth. Unfortunately, that isn’t all that common.
When a person does not have the space, their wisdom teeth may try to force themselves through. This can cause heavy crowding, ruining any previous orthodontic work. If the teeth cannot come through at all or only emerge partially, then there’s a serious risk of infection. An infection caused by problematic wisdom teeth could damage the surrounding teeth, the jaw bone, and the gums, so it should always be taken seriously.
Why Your Dentist May Want to Remove Your Wisdom Teeth Preemptively?
You may wonder why your dentist in Irvine may want to remove a child’s wisdom teeth before they’ve had a chance to emerge. It’s a fair question, but your dentist is probably right. A person’s second set of molars typically emerge when a child is 12-13 years old. At that point, a physical examination and x-rays will show your dentist how much room your child has left. And whether or not the wisdom teeth are in the right position.
If there’s any doubt, then your dentist will likely suggest their pre-emptive extraction. By removing the wisdom teeth, your dentist is helping to ensure any previous orthodontic work as well as the patient’s long-term health.