Most of us have them but if you’re lucky you may not have any at all!
Wisdom teeth are the last set of molars (3rd molars), which usually erupt in the mouth from age 15 – 25.
Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed. If these teeth erupt in satisfactory alignment and the patient is able to keep this area clean, extraction of the wisdom teeth is not indicated.
However, if the alignment of these wisdom teeth is unsatisfactory or the ability of the patient to maintain optimal oral hygiene is reduced, then we would certainly recommend removal.Pain is generally not the best indicator for removal of wisdom teeth as damage to adjacent teeth can occur without any symptoms. As shown in the xray below a retained impacted wisdom tooth forms a bacterial plaque trap, which often leads to decay of the tooth in front. The end result is possible major dental treatment or loss of the adjacent tooth.
Red arrow on left - an impacted top wisdom tooth which has caused the root to resorb in the tooth in front Red arrow on right - an impacted wisdom tooth which has caused decay in the root of the tooth in front
Both of these scenarios led to the loss of the molar in front as well as the wisdom tooth and could have been avoided with earlier intervention
Other problems associated with wisdom teeth include:
- Pain in the gum around erupting tooth
- Recurring swelling and infection with possible limited opening of the mouth
- Tumour or cyst development
- Damage to the adjacent teeth
- Possible mal-alignment of lower front teeth due to erupting pressure of wisdom teeth
Early removal usually resolves the above concerns while also decreasing the surgical risk to associated vital structures. (i.e. nerves, floor of sinus)
Signs and symptoms which may indicate removal:
- Intense pain in and around gum area of wisdom tooth, which can radiate to the ear
- Swelling of the soft tissue around the wisdom tooth
- Increased plaque retention and food packing in the area, with associated bad breath
For some people wisdom teeth removal can be a traumatic procedure, however we offer a service sometimes referred to as ‘sleep dentistry’ or IV Sedation, where nervous or apprehensive patients are able to be made comfortable under the management of a qualified and accredited dental sedationist. More often than not, patients are so relaxed that they fall asleep during the appointment and have little recollection of what was involved during the procedure. Read more about IV sedation
Please do not hesitate to contact us on 3396 4094 to arrange an appointment if you require further information regarding WISDOM TEETH REMOVAL
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding with a surgical or invasive procedure, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.