Wisdom Teeth and Dental Phobia

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The prospect of wisdom teeth is a daunting one for anyone growing up, and particularly for those of you who have suffered because of your teeth in the past. This anticipation can become a phobia under the influence of the widely held belief that the process of your wisdom teeth coming through is an extremely painful one.

What are wisdom teeth?

Your mouth is composed of a number of different types of teeth, of which wisdom teeth are only one. Wisdom teeth are in fact what are called molars, more specifically third molars, that develop during your late teens and early adulthood (17-25 typically). There are usually four wisdom teeth, two on either side, and can potentially alter the alignment of other teeth as they come through. While wisdom teeth are often seen as an inevitable part of growing up, this is not the case as an estimated 35% of you won’t have to put up with them!

Wisdom teeth and dental phobia

If you have suffered from an unpleasant dental experience at a younger age the prospect of potentially painful new teeth that can prompt a need for more dental work can be an exceptionally daunting one. The truth is that many people do not develop wisdom teeth, and for many that do, there is enough space for the teeth to come through and so the process is relatively painless and doesn’t involve disrupting any existing teeth. What this ultimately means is that you don’t need that extra trip to the dentist’s.

However if your wisdom teeth are causing you pain or need to be extracted, then you both the pain and need to visit the dentist can be the source of a lot of anxiety. An extraction, while safe and broadly practiced, is mentally a tough procedure for any of us to deal with, and is even more difficult for anyone suffering from a dental phobia. If you find yourself struggling with the idea of wisdom teeth and their extraction, then you should definitely consult your dentist who, at the very least will be able to provide you with an X-ray that can potentially put your mind at ease, or at worst prepare you for any upcoming dental work. Your dentist should be able to arrange a one on one conversation to ease you into the whole business if your phobia is quite severe.

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