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Why do they cause problems?

Between the ages of about 17-25, long after our adult teeth have emerged from beneath our gums, many of us find that four more try and push their way through. Named wisdom teeth because they typically arrive at a later stage of life when the person has supposedly gained more ‘wisdom’, they become the third molars located at the very back of our mouth.

Humans, by nature, are supposed to have room for 32 teeth in their mouth. However, as we’ve evolved, our jaws have grown smaller and will often only accommodate 28 teeth – yet many of us still have the four wisdom teeth to contend with. For some people, if the wisdom teeth are correctly positioned they pose no problem. However if your jaw can’t accommodate these extra four teeth, they may try to break through the gums at an irregular angle that can cause dental problems such as infection. In this case it is important to have your wisdom teeth removed. My Smile Dental in Sydenham provides wisdom tooth removal at our practice, ensuring the risk of dental health issues such as gum disease or bone problems are significantly reduced.

When might wisdom tooth removal be required?

There are numerous reasons why it might become necessary to have your wisdom teeth extracted, whether it’s just a single tooth, two on a particular side of the mouth, or all four. A dentist will typically recommend you undergo wisdom tooth removal when:

  • The teeth have only partially erupted. This creates an opening that enables bacteria to enter around the tooth and cause an infection that can potentially end in pain, swelling, jaw stiffness and general illness.
  • There is a strong possibility that poorly aligned wisdom teeth will cause damage, such as decay, to adjacent teeth
  • A cyst (fluid-filled sac) has formed, destroying surrounding structures such as bone or tooth roots.

If a wisdom tooth / your wisdom teeth are creating an issue with cleaning your teeth and are otherwise serving no useful function, that can also be a sufficient reason for an extraction procedure.

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The extraction process

Before there’s even any talk of extraction, your dentist will take x-ray images of your mouth to ascertain the current position of the wisdom tooth root and whether there’s actually any need to remove the tooth. If there appears to be sufficient room for the tooth to break through without causing any unwanted damage, your dentist might suggest letting it be. If extraction does look to be the best course of action, the ease of the procedure will largely depend on the position and shape of the wisdom tooth root(s). You’ll typically have a local anaesthetic or be placed under sedation during the procedure (a general anaesthetic is offered only if you have the operation in hospital). Post treatment you should expect to experience some swelling and probably some discomfort; the severity being dependent on just how many teeth you have removed and the difficulty of the extraction.
If the extractions that are required pose complexity, we may need to refer you to an Oral Surgeon who can complete the extractions for

To enquire about having your wisdom teeth removed, give My Smile Dental clinic a call today on (03) 9390 9333 or make an appointment online.