Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to grow in your jaw and will usually appear within the mouth between the ages of 17-25 years of age (however they are known to have the potential to appear many years later in life).
Most people are not fortunate to have them positioned in ideal location or angulation. Dentists refer to these as “impacted”.
The wisdom teeth might end up subsequently not being in a position to help you chew or eat food. We call this “non functional”.
Pericoronitis is the name of a condition where there is inflammation and / or infection surrounding the soft tissue around a partially erupted tooth and if this keeps recurring during your lifetime it is likely in your best interest to have the teeth that cause it to be removed.
Wisdom teeth may or may not grow completely or partially through your gums.
Some clear reasons to extract your wisdom teeth are:
1.If you have impacted or non functional wisdom teeth which are potentially compromising the health of teeth nearby,
2. If you have chronic, recurrent pericoronitis (that is, if you keep having aches and pains from the wisdom teeth which arise because food debris accumulates in areas which are hard to clean).
3. If the wisdom teeth are simply decaying.
4. If your medical team have assessed you as being of high risk in medical scenarios eg: heart valve surgery, transplant surgery, chemo or radiotherapy especially if this is directed to the jaws, or in severe osteoporosis management where bisphosphonates may be involved.
Surgery to remove wisdom teeth is typically the best course of action if you have several of the aforementioned issues. If a wisdom tooth has fully erupted through the gum and is of a single root, a standard, simple tooth extraction may be performed. If the tooth has not erupted through the gum, an impacted tooth extraction method is used whereby the gums may be moved out of the way, where we may need to fully visualise the tooth to remove it.
Afterwards, the gums will be placed back in the original position or even closed back together completely. Most procedures last less than 60-90 minutes for four impacted teeth.
For patients with dental anxiety, we offer dental sedation options. These options are available for most dental procedures, including routine cleanings and fillings, along with wisdom teeth extractions and implant surgery.
We always numb patients with anaesthetic during procedures such as dental crown preparation appointments or extractions. But if you feel particularly anxious even after we’ve anaesthetised your tooth/teeth, please let us know. We’ll be happy to provide you with various sedation options.