Wisdom teeth (also called third molars) are often extracted either before or after they erupt. This usually happens in late teens or early 20s. Impacted wisdom teeth are teeth that are stuck in the jaw and can’t erupt properly. Wisdom teeth extraction is a very common procedure and should be done as soon as possible to avoid further complications. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause structural damage to the jaw and other teeth. They can also provide a place for bacteria to gather since they are hard to reach and clean. These potential problems make it necessary to remove impacted wisdom teeth so that larger problems do not arise. Routine x-rays during a dental exam can reveal if you will need to have your wisdom teeth removed.
When they align properly and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth pose no risk at all. Unfortunately this does not generally happen. They often grow sideways, partially emerge or even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. These poorly positioned or impacted wisdom teeth can cause many problems. Partially erupted wisdom teeth allow bacteria to grow and can cause infection.
Other teeth block some wisdom teeth or there may be no room for them to push through the gum. This can irritate the gum, and cause considerable pain and swelling.
If the wisdom teeth edge through, and become stalled halfway through the gum, this can make brushing and flossing a sensitive and painful experience.
Wisdom tooth impaction can lead to:
- Tooth crowding
- Subsequent tooth decay
- Infection and abscess
- Gum disease
In case of impacted wisdom teeth, an incision will be made around the problem area for removal. Once the gum ‘flap’ is opened, small portions of bone may need to be removed before the tooth is divided into small portions for extraction.
On removal, stitches are used to suture the gum and will dissolve eventually or need to be removed.
All our patient surgery is performed under appropriate anaesthesia right in our office, or under general anaesthesia in a day surgery to maximize patient comfort and convenience.