Wisdom teeth may be a thing of the past, in the very near future. That’s according to scientists, who discovered that a simple shot of local anesthetic may prevent those teeth from forming in the first place.

Wisdom teeth start developing when you’re a toddler. But they don’t fully emerge until you’re a teenager. They usually cause major issues: Everything from jaw pain to infections to crooked teeth, since wisdom teeth push against other teeth. That’s why roughly 5 million people get them removed every year.

But even though dental surgery doesn’t sound risky, tragically, there’ve been a string of recent cases in which people have died from wisdom teeth removal complications. So, the dental world is buzzing over the possible new breakthrough prevention method.

Tufts University researchers analyzed dental X-rays of 200 toddlers who received anesthetic shots for routine dental work. And X-rays taken 4 years later showed that most of the kids never grew wisdom teeth.

Researchers believe the anesthetic kills wisdom teeth before they have a chance to fully form. But more research needs to be done before it becomes the go-to treatment for wisdom teeth.