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Facts about Wisdom Teeth and Wisdom Teeth Extraction

You may already know that wisdom teeth are your third molars, the last teeth to erupt, usually between the ages of 17 and 25. For some people, they never cause any problems and are retained.  For an estimated five million people annually, however, wisdom teeth are removed due to lack of space, misalignment, impaction, decay or pain. If you have been told by your dentist that you or your teenager needs wisdom teeth extracted, there’s no need to panic. While wisdom tooth removal does qualify as surgery, it is a simple procedure done in your dentist's office.  Call Excellence in Dentistry and schedule a consultation with Dr. Gerard Wasselle, a dentist serving Fort Lauderdale and Lauderdale by the Sea with over 30 years experience in extracting wisdom teeth. Dr. Wasselle offers IV sedation for his patient's comfort.

How many wisdom teeth do I have?

Everyone is different. The size of your jaw and your ancestry may be factors.  For instance, African Americans as well as Asian Americans are more likely than Americans of European descent to have less than four wisdom teeth.  Interestingly, Aboriginal Tasmanians often have none!  While it is common to have four third molars, some people may have only one, two, or three.   Another possibility, although it’s rare, is to have more than four wisdom teeth, which are called supernumerary teeth. “In my career, I have seen two cases where patients have had supernumerary teeth (an additional set of wisdom teeth),” Dr. Wasselle says. 

Why is getting my wisdom teeth extracted early important?

Your dentist in Fort Lauderdale encourages his patients to have their wisdom teeth removed early because as we age, the roots of our teeth continue to grow.  When you are young, your wisdom teeth are small, like a bud. This makes extraction easier for both the patient as well as the dentist.  As you continue to age, the root of your wisdom teeth continues to grow into your jaw bone.  Once the teeth are anchored into your jaw bone, the extraction process can become more difficult.

Just as the number of wisdom teeth can vary, the number of roots on these teeth can vary as well. Wisdom teeth typically have two or three roots, but can have more.  The more roots each tooth has makes and the longer the roots are makes extraction more difficult. 

Do other cultures call wisdom teeth other things?

In English, third molars are called wisdom tooth  because they come in later than other teeth, at a time when you’re older and (hopefully) wiser. In other languages, third molars are called other things. For example, in Korean third molars are called  “love teeth,” because they usually erupt around the time (late teens and early 20s) that one typically experiences their first love. In Japanese language third molars are referred to as oyashirazu, or “unknown to parents,” since most people have already moved away from home by the time their wisdom teeth come in.  Turkish calls them 20th-year teeth (yirmi yaş dişleri) and in Spanish they are muelas del juicio (“teeth of judgment”).

What happens if I don't have my wisdom teeth pulled?

Your dentist in Fort Lauderdale, FL, recommends not having your wisdom teeth pulled if you wisdom teeth are:

In many cases, however, Dr. Wasselle will recommend wisdom teeth extraction for the following reasons:

At Excellence in Dentistry in Fort Lauderdale, Dr. Gerard Wasselle has over 30 years experience with wisdom tooth extraction.  For our patient's comfort, Dr. Wasselle also offers IV sedation.  Call our office at 954-928-1666 to schedule a consultation to find out more about wisdom teeth extraction and IV sedation.

Excellence in Dentistry

Dr. Gerard Wasselle and Dr. Nancy Rotroff

2480 E. Commercial Blvd, Suite 2

Fort Lauderdale, FL  33308

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