Adults can have up to 32 teeth. Wisdom teeth (or third molars) are the last permanent teeth to erupt at the back of your mouth. They usually appear between 18 – 25 years of age, however, the number of wisdom teeth each person has can vary.
Most people only have room in their mouth to fit 28 teeth. So, if all other teeth are present and healthy, there may not be enough space for the wisdom teeth to come through without causing problems. In many cases, they will need to be removed.
What are the usual wisdom teeth symptoms?
Patients often wonder whether it is their wisdom teeth that is the cause of their pain or discomfort. If your wisdom teeth are the cause of your problems then the common symptoms people experience are:
an aching in the jaw,
pressure sensation on neighbouring back teeth,
difficulty opening the mouth; or
pain around the affected gums.
The level of pain or discomfort for these symptoms can vary greatly for each person and isn’t an indication of the severity of a wisdom tooth problem. This is why we recommend a dental assessment for any wisdom teeth symptoms.
Our dentist will need to perform an x-ray to identify the position of your wisdom teeth. This helps to determine if they are causing the problem and to make recommendations about whether your wisdom teeth need to be removed.
Do Wisdom teeth always need to be removed?
It’s recommended most wisdom teeth be removed, especially if the teeth are submerged in the gums or are growing horizontally. These wisdom teeth positions can damage the tooth in front or affect the alignment of your other teeth.
In some instances when the teeth have come through the gum without causing harm or discomfort, then we may decide not to remove them.
What happens if wisdom teeth aren’t removed?
Wisdom teeth that remain partially underneath the gum teeth can often be difficult to clean, with food and bacteria often getting lodged in hard to access areas. If left untreated, this increases the risk of cavities and other dental problems.
The Wisdom Teeth removal process
There are two options when you need to have your wisdom teeth removed:
Have your wisdom tooth or teeth removed in the dental chair at Central Dental, or
Have your wisdom teeth surgically removed under general anaesthetic (usually a day surgery).
Based on your x-ray results and the complexity of your wisdom teeth extraction, we will recommend which option is best in your case. If your removal can be done in the chair at Central Dental, this will be done by our consulting oral surgeon, Dr. Mohammed Meer.
We will refer you out to an oral surgeon in our trusted network, in the cases where:
your wisdom tooth is close to a nerve or other vital structures in your mouth; or
you suffer from anxiety or difficulty with lengthy in-chair dental procedures.
At Central Dental, we want our patients to feel comfortable. If you are nervous or anxious about the pain, talk to us about the dental options that can help put you at ease.