Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to appear, usually during your late teens or early 20s. They are right at the back of the mouth, and you have two at the top and two on the bottom. Wisdom teeth are quite large, and some people don’t have enough room to fit these extra teeth. Because of this, it’s quite common to need wisdom teeth removing.
When there isn’t enough room for wisdom teeth to erupt normally, they can become impacted. An impacted wisdom tooth will try to come up underneath the adjacent tooth or erupt sideways, coming out of the gum. Sometimes, an impacted tooth will only erupt partially, remaining partly covered with gum. Consequently, the tooth is very difficult to keep clean and can easily become decayed and infected.
If you haven’t yet got your wisdom teeth, we can monitor their position in your jaw using digital dental x-rays. We don’t recommend taking out wisdom teeth unless it is obvious that they will cause a problem, so we prefer to take a wait-and-see approach. If you need wisdom teeth extracted, we may remove them in our dental practice, although we may refer more complex tooth removals to an oral surgeon.