Why Get Dental Advice on Wisdom Teeth Removal
Wisdom teeth, also referred to as third molars, are found towards the back of your mouth in the four corners of each arch. They typically emerge during your late adolescent years, between 17 to 25 years of age. Some wisdom teeth erupt without any concerns and function normally as other teeth do. The problem with wisdom teeth usually arises when there is not enough room for them to erupt and they become impacted. An impacted wisdom tooth either fails to completely break through the gums or remains fully embedded below the gum line, and often at an angle which prevents it from erupting into the mouth.
Depending on the tooth position and level of impaction of the tooth, you may or may not feel discomfort from the impaction. If the tooth develops lying sideways or at an angle, it can push against other permanent molars (back teeth) and cause pain. You can also get pain associated with your wisdom tooth due to infection, food trapping around a partially erupted wisdom tooth, tender gums/cheeks as the tooth erupts or where a cyst develops around the unerupted tooth.
Because wisdom teeth commonly lack space to erupt without concerns, your dentist will want to check the development of these teeth on a regular basis from about the age of 16 years onwards. This will involve inspecting your mouth and jaws and taking x-rays. X-rays will help your dentist view the shape and angulation of the developing tooth as well as its location in relation to surrounding structures including other teeth and underlying nerves. If there are concerns, your dentist may recommend removal of one or more wisdom teeth. Where your dentist does recommend removal of wisdom teeth, they may recommend having it done while the patient is still young. It is often easier to remove these teeth before the roots fully develop and while the bone is less dense. As we age, our bone becomes more dense.
The complexity of the procedure to remove wisdom teeth often relates to the type of impaction – for example, vertical, horizontal or angular bone impaction. Depending on the type and extent of impaction, as well as underlying factors pertaining to the individual patient, some wisdom teeth are removed in one session and others over separate appointments. Some patients elect to have the procedure done under general anaesthetic in a hospital setting and depending upon the complexity of the surgery, patients may be referred to a specialist. Your dentist however is in the best position to advise you regarding the status of your wisdom teeth and can provide you with all available options should removal be recommended.
Not sure whether or not to remove your wisdom teeth? Contact one of our friendly dentists at your closest nib Dental Care Centre for a wisdom tooth evaluation today.