Wisdom teeth usually do not push through the gums until people are in their late teen, twenties or even older. Wisdom teeth are generally the last teeth to come through the gums.
In many people there is not enough space at the rear of the jaws for wisdom teeth to come through the gums, which can result in the teeth becoming impacted. If your wisdom teeth are causing problems and/or pain, your dentist may recommend that they be removed.
If your wisdom teeth are likely to be very difficult or complicated to remove, they may refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
What are some of the reasons for the removal of wisdom teeth?
- Insufficient room for the teeth to push through the gum
- A need for orthodontic work and therefore crowding needs to be reduced
- Pain and infection
- Inability to effectively clean/brush the area
What if the area around the tooth is infected?
If the area around the tooth is infected, your dentist may delay extraction of the tooth while the infection is treated. Treatment of the infection may require the dentist gently cleaning around the tooth and advising the patient to rinse the mouth often warm salt water. A disinfectant mouthwash and a course of antibiotics may also be prescribed.
Where is the surgery performed?
Your dentist will advise you whether the surgery can be performed in the dental chair, under intravenous sedation or general anaesthetic in a hospital setting. Difficult extractions may need to be referred to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for treatment.