Wisdom teeth are the rear molars that erupt sometime around your late teens or early 20s. Most adults have four wisdom teeth, although every patient is different, with some people having no wisdom teeth at all. These teeth can impact into the gum, causing gum infection or can even get jammed or wedged with neighbouring teeth causing food impaction and resulting in tooth decay. If you are having problems with your wisdom teeth, this is why a dentist may suggest they be removed.
Why should I remove my wisdom teeth?
Sometimes your wisdom teeth fail to come out completely through the gum and the gum at the back extends over the biting surface of the last tooth. This leaves an opportunity for bacteria to accumulate around this tooth. This can lead to pain, swelling and jaw stiffening. In the lower jaw the pain may even go down the lower jaw and the neck area. In such cases, the wisdom tooth will commonly require removal.
In the upper jaw, the last molars may erupt towards the cheek, due to insufficient space, which can grate against the check, causing ulcers and chewing problems. Due to poor access with cleaning these last molars, can cause food accumulation, resulting in decay of these teeth. In such cases, recommended treatment is removal of the upper last molars. Sometimes it may be recommended to take a preventive approach by extracting wisdom teeth even before they cause problems.
The roots of wisdom teeth in a teenager are still forming, which means wisdom tooth removal is easier and safer. Later in life the roots of wisdom teeth are completely formed and embedded firmly in the bone.
During the initial consultation, an examination, a thorough medical history and an OPG (Panoramic X-ray) will be carried out. The x-ray will allow us to see the exact number of wisdom teeth and the location of the wisdom teeth to develop a personal treatment plan for you.
The procedure will be explained to you together with the risks and complications that are involved during the procedure.
Consent will be obtained from you, to carry out the procedure during this visit.
Generally wisdom teeth removal should be delayed in the presence of infection. It is generally preferable to control the infection with antibiotics and carry out the surgical procedure at a later time.
Wisdom teeth removal is definitely NOT something that people look forward to. But modern surgical and anaesthetic technique, have now combined to make wisdom teeth removal a much more acceptable procedure than in the past.