Wisdom Teeth

Our Perth dentists are experts with Wisdom Teeth Removal

Most adults have 32 teeth, including four wisdom teeth that usually erupt between the ages of 17 and 21.

Wisdom teeth are the final set of molars and can play a useful part in the mouth for many people. However, for others, if the wisdom teeth don’t come through properly, or don’t erupt at all, they may need to be removed.

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Why would you need to have your wisdom teeth taken out?

Wisdom teeth can present a potential problem when they are misaligned. They can be positioned horizontally, be angled towards or away from the second molars, or be angled inwards or outwards. Poor alignment of wisdom teeth can crowd or damage adjacent teeth, the jawbone or nerves. Teeth that remain partially or completely entrapped with the soft tissue or the jawbone are called impacted. Wisdom teeth that only erupt partially allow an opening for bacteria to enter around the tooth. This can cause an infection and result in pain, swelling, jaw stiffness and general illness. Partially erupted teeth are also more prone to tooth decay and gum disease due to their hard-to-reach location and awkward positioning, which makes brushing and flossing in those areas difficult.

When can you get your wisdom teeth removed?

Your dentist or oral surgeon may recommend that your wisdom teeth be extracted even before potential problems develop. By doing this, you can avoid a more painful or complicated extraction that might have to be done a few years later. Removing wisdom teeth is easier in young people because the roots of the wisdom teeth are not yet fully developed, and the bone is less dense. In older people, recovery and healing time tends to be longer.

How are wisdom teeth removed?

The ease with which your wisdom teeth can be extracted by your dentist or oral surgeon depends on the position of the teeth. Your dentist will be able to give you an idea as to what to expect during your pre-extraction examination. A wisdom tooth (or teeth) that is fully erupted through the gum can be extracted as easily as any other tooth.

However, a wisdom tooth that is underneath the gums and embedded in the jawbone will require an incision into the gums and the removal of the portion of the bone that lies on the tooth. Often a tooth in this situation will need to be extracted in small sections rather than be removed in one piece. By doing this, your dentist/surgeon will be minimising the amount of bone that needs to be removed to get the tooth out.

Wisdom teeth can be removed with either a local anaesthetic, Sleep Dentistry in the chair, or under a general anaesthetic.