Your wisdom teeth are the last adult teeth to appear, usually during the late teens or early 20s. They are the third set of molars to come through, and often, there is insufficient room for these teeth to erupt normally. Consequently, wisdom teeth can create problems by becoming impacted, where they get stuck underneath the adjacent teeth or may try to emerge sideways through the gum. Other times, a wisdom tooth may partially erupt, so it remains partly covered by gum and is very difficult to keep clean and more at risk of becoming infected. Wisdom teeth can also damage the adjacent teeth, causing issues with overcrowding and increasing the risk of these adjacent teeth becoming infected. When wisdom teeth cannot erupt properly, we do need to remove them.
Some people will have no problems whatsoever as their wisdom teeth push through, and it is always useful to have another set of molars. Therefore, we do not automatically remove wisdom teeth but prefer to take a wait-and-see approach. We use digital dental x-rays to carefully monitor the position of wisdom teeth that have yet to erupt, assessing their position in the jawbone. Our dentist will only recommend removing these teeth if it is clear they will not erupt properly. It is preferable to remove wisdom teeth while you are younger because they are easier to remove at this stage. However, there is no upper age limit as to when we can remove wisdom teeth.
If you need a wisdom tooth removed, there is no need to worry as we will ensure the procedure is as comfortable as possible. We also offer sedation for anyone who is a little nervous or who may need a more complicated wisdom tooth extraction. It doesn’t take very long to remove the tooth, but we make sure the area is completely numb before doing so. If the wisdom tooth has partially erupted, it is very easy to remove. Wisdom teeth stuck underneath the gums will take a little longer as we need to make a tiny opening in the jawbone to see the tooth. Often, we cut the wisdom tooth into smaller sections, so removing it is more comfortable for you.
It shouldn’t take very long to heal after having a wisdom tooth removed, and we will give you full instructions on how to care for your mouth afterwards and are always here to offer more advice and help if needed.