The final set of teeth to erupt at the back of your mouth are typically referred to as your “wisdom” teeth.
They’re also known as the third molars. Depending on the individual, wisdom teeth usually erupt sometime in your teens or twenties.
It’s not uncommon to see them completely developed closer to 30 years of age.
Why do wisdom teeth cause problems?
The lack of space at the back of your mouth tends to put extra pressure on your wisdom teeth. As such, they can grow in strange directions or angles. Wisdom teeth may grow up into your jaw or into the adjacent teeth, causing pain, structural damage or infection.
To prevent damage in your neighbouring healthy teeth, we encourage having an X-ray taken to check for any issues. We’ll routinely monitor the health and position of your third molars to recommend an appropriate action plan.
Some of the complications wisdom teeth are susceptible to include
- Gum disease
Even if wisdom teeth do fully erupt, their position in your mouth makes them difficult to clean on a daily basis.
This scenario doesn’t just pose a risk to your third molars but it also raises your chances of dental health issues in the adjacent teeth.
Do Wisdom Teeth Need to be Extracted?
A wisdom tooth removal is recommended if the overall health of your smile is in jeopardy. It’s best to have the third molar removed proactively as opposed to treating active decay or gum disease, as those conditions are likely to keep recurring.
Since third molars are typically non-functioning, they do not need to be replaced after their extraction.
Wisdom Tooth Removal Surgery
If we decide that a wisdom tooth extraction is best for your situation, the removal usually requires a 30-60-minute appointment. Most wisdom tooth removal surgeries can be completed in our office, as opposed to sending you to a separate specialist.
Sedation (sleep dentistry) is also available. Even though we’ll still use anaesthetic to numb the area around your wisdom teeth, the sedation will help to keep you as comfortable as possible. Choose between happy gas/nitrous oxide and green whistle/Penthrox.
The recovery after a wisdom tooth extraction differs from person to person. You can expect a day or two of tenderness as your body heals. Plan to take at least a few days off work, avoiding heavy lifting or gym workouts. The key is to keep your blood pressure low, so that your extraction site heals properly (minimising the risk of a dry socket).
If you need time off from work as you recuperate, we can provide you with a doctor certificate to give to your employer or school.
Wisdom Tooth Consultations
Usually, a consultation is needed by the time your teen is 15-16 years old and we'll continue to evaluate your third molars for warning signs during subsequent checkups.
If you’re experiencing pressure near the back of your mouth or notice crowding in your other teeth, it’s worthwhile to have your wisdom teeth examined.
For wisdom teeth exams, request your consultation today at Brentford Dental!