Do I Need to Get My Wisdom Teeth Removed?


Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last set of teeth to emerge in the human mouth, typically appearing between the ages of 17 and 25. These teeth were once crucial for our ancestors who consumed a rougher diet, but with evolution and changes in dietary habits, they have become largely unnecessary. In modern times, wisdom teeth often pose more problems than benefits, leading many individuals to wonder whether they need to undergo the extraction process.

What are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars located at the back of the mouth. Most people have four wisdom teeth, with one in each corner of the mouth. These teeth can be impacted, meaning they don’t have enough space to emerge properly, or they may erupt partially or not at all. This can lead to various dental issues such as crowding, misalignment, and infection.

Signs and Symptoms of Problematic Wisdom Teeth

When wisdom teeth begin to emerge, they can cause a range of symptoms indicating potential problems. These may include persistent pain and discomfort, swelling and inflammation of the gums, difficulty in opening the mouth fully, and pain while chewing.

While not all wisdom teeth require removal, it’s often recommended to prevent future complications. Impacted wisdom teeth can damage nearby teeth, cause crowding, and increase the risk of infection and decay. Additionally, maintaining proper oral hygiene becomes challenging with impacted wisdom teeth, leading to gum disease and other oral health issues.

Assessment by Dentist

Regular dental check-ups are essential for monitoring the development of wisdom teeth. Dentists typically use X-rays and physical examination to assess the position and condition of the teeth. Based on their evaluation, they may recommend removal if there’s a risk of future problems.

Risks and Complications

Like any surgical procedure, wisdom teeth removal carries risks. These include infection, nerve damage leading to numbness or tingling in the lips, cheeks, or tongue, and the development of dry socket, a painful condition where the blood clot in the extraction site becomes dislodged.

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Wisdom teeth removal can be performed under local anesthesia or general anesthesia, depending on the complexity of the extraction and patient preference. The procedure involves making an incision in the gums, removing any bone blocking access to the tooth, and extracting the tooth. Afterward, stitches may be placed, and gauze is used to control bleeding.

Alternatives to Removal

In some cases, wisdom teeth may not need to be removed immediately. Dentists may recommend monitoring their development over time or opting for partial removal if only certain teeth are causing problems. Non-surgical alternatives such as orthodontic treatment to create space for the teeth may also be considered.

Recovery and Aftercare

Following wisdom teeth removal, patients are advised to follow post-operative instructions provided by their dentist. This includes managing pain and swelling with prescribed medications, sticking to a soft diet to avoid irritation to the extraction site, and practicing good oral hygiene to prevent infection.


While not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth removed, it’s important to consult with a dentist to assess the individual situation. Wisdom teeth can cause a variety of problems if left untreated, but with timely intervention, potential complications can be avoided, ensuring long-term oral health and well-being.

At Family Dental Health, serving the communities of Terwillegar and Rabbit Hill in South Edmonton, we understand the importance of personalized dental care for you and your loved ones. Our team is dedicated to providing comprehensive dental services in a comfortable and welcoming environment. Whether you require routine check-ups, wisdom teeth removal, or any other dental treatment, we are here to support you every step of the way. Your oral health is our priority, and we strive to deliver exceptional care tailored to your unique needs. Schedule an appointment with us today and experience the difference our compassionate team can make in your dental health journey.


Yes, wisdom teeth can cause headaches, especially if they are impacted or erupting improperly. The pressure from wisdom teeth pushing against surrounding teeth or gums can lead to tension headaches or migraines. If you experience persistent headaches along with other symptoms of wisdom teeth problems, it’s advisable to consult with a dentist for evaluation and treatment options.

The experience of pain during wisdom teeth removal can vary from person to person. While the procedure itself is typically performed under anesthesia to minimize discomfort, some soreness and discomfort can be expected during the recovery period. Your dentist or oral surgeon will prescribe pain medications to manage any post-operative pain effectively. Following post-operative care instructions, such as resting, applying ice packs, and avoiding certain foods, can also help alleviate discomfort.

If wisdom teeth are not removed, they can lead to various dental issues and complications. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause crowding, misalignment, and damage to adjacent teeth. They may also increase the risk of gum disease, tooth decay, and infections. In some cases, cysts or tumors may develop around impacted wisdom teeth, leading to more serious oral health problems. Therefore, it’s essential to address wisdom teeth issues promptly to prevent potential complications.

There is no specific age at which wisdom teeth must be removed. However, wisdom teeth typically emerge in late adolescence or early adulthood, between the ages of 17 and 25. Dentists usually recommend monitoring the development of wisdom teeth during routine dental check-ups and may recommend removal if there’s a risk of future problems, such as impaction, crowding, or infection. The timing of wisdom teeth removal may vary based on individual dental health and development.

It’s generally not advisable to drive yourself home immediately after wisdom teeth removal, especially if you’ve been sedated for the procedure. The effects of anesthesia or sedation can impair your coordination, reflexes, and judgment, making it unsafe to operate a vehicle. It’s recommended to arrange for a responsible adult to accompany you to the appointment and drive you home afterward. Additionally, it’s essential to follow post-operative instructions and rest properly to ensure a smooth recovery process.

At Family Dental Health in South Edmonton, we understand the importance of achieving a healthy and beautiful smile. Our team is dedicated to providing personalized orthodontic solutions tailored to meet your specific needs. Whether you’re considering Invisalign or traditional braces, we’re here to guide you through every step of the process. With our expertise and compassionate care, we strive to help you achieve the smile of your dreams. Schedule a consultation with us today to embark on your journey towards improved dental health and confidence.

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