Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Wisdom Tooth ExtractionWisdom teeth (also called ‘third molars’) usually push through the gums until people are in their late teens, twenties or even older. Wisdom teeth are usually the last teeth to come through the gums. Most people have four wisdom teeth, whereas others have none.

Often there is little space at the rear of the jaws for wisdom teeth to come easily through the gums. If the jaw does not have enough room for the wisdom tooth to come through, the tooth will become wedged in or ‘impacted’. Some impacted wisdom teeth remain buried and cause no trouble. However, other impacted wisdom teeth may cause severe problems. Often one or more wisdom teeth will cause problems and must be removed. Complications include infection, swelling, pain, crowding, damage to nearby molars, mouth ulcers and trapped food.

Removal of troublesome wisdom teeth should usually be done as soon as possible before the problems get worse. If your wisdom teeth are likely to be difficult or complicated to remove, your dentist may refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon is specially trained in surgery of the mouth, teeth, gums and jaws.

After inspecting your mouth, jaws and screening X-Ray films, your dentist can discuss the diagnosis with you. They may recommend removal of the wisdom teeth or other options.