What are wisdom teeth
Wisdom teeth are the last molars on each side of the jaws. They are the last teeth to emerge, or erupt, usually when a person is aged 16-20.
Since wisdom teeth are the last permanent teeth to come through, or erupt, there is often not enough room left in your mouth to accommodate them. This can lead to impacted wisdom teeth: teeth that are trapped beneath the gum tissue by other teeth or bone. If teeth are impacted, swelling and tenderness may occur.
Wisdom teeth that only partially emerge or come through crooked may also lead to painful crowding and disease. Since teeth removed before age 20 have less developed roots and fewer complications, consult with us during teenage years to have your wisdom teeth evaluated.
Pericoronitis is a dental infection that occurs when there is not enough room in the mouth for a wisdom tooth to erupt. The wisdom tooth is partially erupted and the gum tissue covers a part of the top of the tooth. This allows food or plaque to become lodged under the gum tissue flap. If the area becomes infected, it is called pericoronitis and the gum tissue will become swollen and red.
Symptoms can include a bad smell or taste in the mouth, discharge of pus from the gum near the tooth, swollen lymph lodes under the chin, muscle spasm in the jaw and swelling on the affected side of the face. You can treat it by rinsing with warm salt water in the early stages. An antibiotic may be prescribed if the infection progresses and the wisdom tooth should be extracted.
Preparation for a Tooth Extraction
We will take a panoramic X-ray or a cone beam Xray. This X-ray takes a picture of all of your teeth at once. It can show several things that help to guide an extraction:
The relationship of your wisdom teeth to your other teeth
The upper teeth’s relationship to your sinuses
The lower teeth’s relationship to a nerve in the jawbone that gives feeling to your lower jaw, lower teeth, lower lip and chin. This nerve is called the inferior alveolar nerve.
Any infections, tumours or bone disease that may be present
This will help us plan the best way to remove the tooth.
Be sure to provide your full medical and dental history and a list of all medicines you take. This should include both prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and supplements.
How are wisdom teeth removed?
A tooth extraction is a relatively routine procedure for us. and removal of wisdom teeth due to crowding or impaction should not affect your bite or oral health in the future.
Wisdom teeth are often best removed before the age of twenty years as root formation may not yet be completed.
If the wisdom teeth are erupted, the tooth (or teeth) will normally be removed with local anaesthetic but if the wisdom teeth are impacted and embedded in the bone, we will make an incision into the gums and remove the tooth or teeth in sections in order to minimise the amount of bone being removed. Some pain and swelling may occur, but it will normally go away after a few days; however, you should call us if you have prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding or fever.