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 your dental professional to have your wisdom teeth evaluated to see if they need to be removed.

How are wisdom teeth removed?

A tooth extraction is a relatively routine procedure. Your dentist or a dental specialist, called an oral surgeon, will recommend; general anaesthesia, sedation or numbing this area in your mouth with local anaesthesia.

After the tooth is removed, you may be asked to bite down on a piece of gauze for a certain period of time, to limit any bleeding that may occur. Some pain and swelling may occur but it will normally go away after a few days. However, you should call your dentist if you have prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding or fever.

Removal of wisdom teeth due to crowding or impaction should not affect your bite or oral health in the future.