Wisdom teeth, often referred to as your third molars are your last teeth to emerge and will generally come through between the ages of 17 and 25. Normally you would expect a wisdom tooth in both sides of your upper and lower jaws, although sometimes the wisdom tooth can be genetically absent. For some people, they will erupt without incident just like all other teeth, while for others, their wisdom teeth can cause a number of oral health concerns.
Problems occur with wisdom teeth when there is not enough space at the back of your jaw to allow them to erupt without causing damage to adjacent teeth, your gums and jawbones. This can sometimes take several years to become apparent and will not always cause pain alerting you to a problem.
A wisdom tooth can be described as partially impacted, meaning some of the crown has emerged through the gum-line, or fully impacted, where no part of the tooth has emerged, this can be caused by the tooth growing at an incorrect angle. When a tooth becomes impacted, an infection resulting in swelling and pain can also result.
Not everyone will encounter problems with their wisdom teeth. To really know if you are at risk, you may be referred for a special x-ray. This will provide us with the exact location of your wisdom teeth from which we can develop a tailored treatment plan should a problem be diagnosed.
Depending on your personal situation, the number of teeth being removed and their condition and position, we may remove them within our practice under a local anaesthetic or you may be referred to a specialist.