History of Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Many people need wisdom teeth to be removed not long after they appear. Often this is because the wisdom teeth become impacted, refusing to break through the gums. There is also a chance they will grow out crooked, push into surrounding teeth, or create pockets that allow infection. Wisdom teeth extraction has become a rite of passage for many young adults, but why do we have wisdom teeth if we don’t need them?

Origins of Third Molars

Many scientists classify wisdom teeth as vestigial organs. Like your appendix, your wisdom teeth have no real function but assisted with daily life at one time. There was a time in the distant past when our ancestors’ diets consisted of rough food such as leaves, nuts, and tough meats. These foods required serious chewing power and our third molars were part of the digestive process.

With the invention of eating utensils and modern cooking practices, our food became softer and much easier to digest. As a result, wisdom teeth become obsolete. Since then, our jaws have gradually shrunk over time, negating the need for third molars.

Wisdom Teeth Extraction Through the Ages

Wisdom teeth extraction is a routine procedure for young adults and is often seen as a right of passage. But before the development of surgical dentistry, infected or impacted wisdom teeth had to be removed without advanced techniques or instruments. Originally, patients underwent extraction with imprecise hand tools and had no anesthesia. Much more recently, dental technology made it easier to remove the teeth and minimize the extensiveness of surgery, protecting bone and soft tissues alike.

Today, all wisdom teeth extractions are performed while the patient is sedated. Your Springfield oral surgeon will make a small incision to remove the tooth, clean up the treatment area, and suture it closed. Medicine is often prescribed to manage pain, and ice packs are used to reduce swelling and prevent bruising.

Do you or a loved one suffer from painful or impacted wisdom teeth? Dr. Snehal Patel utilizes innovative techniques that restore comfort and minimize recovery time. Give Lorton Springfield Dental Implants and Oral Surgery a call today to schedule a consultation. 703-436-4633