Last to arrive and often the ones that cause the most disruption, wisdom teeth signal the end of the oral development era.
Emerging as people enter their late teens, these four teeth at the very back of your jaw tend to erupt between the ages of 16 and 20.
For some people, wisdom teeth are a minor inconvenience, but for others they can be downright painful, undo years of orthodontic work, or upset a previously straight smile.
So, what are the signs you should have your wisdom teeth removed, and how does the procedure work?
When is wisdom teeth removal recommended?
Long ago wisdom teeth were a requirement for humans, allowing us to chomp and grind through an unprocessed, unrefined diet.
But now that’s not the case, and, as human’s jaws become smaller, wisdom teeth often struggle to find a suitable place as the last teeth arriving at the dental party.
As a result, wisdom teeth can cause minor or serious problems for your ongoing dental health and general comfort.
If your dentist believes that’s likely to be or is the case, they may recommend you have them removed, using the following reasons to gauge whether extraction is required:
Damage to other teeth – An extra set of emerging molars has the potential to shift other teeth out of position. This can affect people who have previously invested in orthodontic work and those with an otherwise straight bite.
The long-term result of leaving your wisdom teeth in position could be pain, discomfort, crooked teeth and a misaligned bite.
Impacted teeth – Sometimes there is so little room in the mouth for wisdom teeth they become impacted. This means they do not fully erupt and have the potential to cause infection or inflammation that can damage adjacent teeth.
Jaw damage – As these new teeth come through there is the potential for cysts to form. Although it’s not always the case, cysts can lead to gum disease and infection that impacts the jaw bone and damages the nerves.
Sinus Issues – The teeth and the sinuses are in close proximity. Problems with wisdom teeth can lead to sinus pressure and pain.
Inflamed Gums – Tissue around emerging or impacted wisdom teeth can swell, making the area harder to clean. These swollen gums can also create pockets between teeth that trap bacteria and result in additional cavities or gum disease.
It’s recommended children in their teens are examined and X-rayed to determine the position of wisdom teeth and gain an insight into what they are likely to do. If your dentist then recommends wisdom teeth removal, the procedure is routine.
Wisdom teeth can be removed by an oral surgeon at their clinic using local aneasthetic or in a day surgery using general anaesthetic.
Patients may experience pain or tenderness in the following days, but this is easily managed with painkillers, and soon dissipates.
Meanwhile, the best age to remove wisdom teeth is usually before a patient turns 20. At this stage, there tend to be less-developed roots, resulting in fewer complications.
About Brite Dental
Brite Dental is a community-focused dental practice, committed to ensuring you and your family receive the highest quality of care in a warm and professional environment.
Offering a full range of dental services ranging, from children’s dentistry through to high-end cosmetic dentistry, we are conveniently located in central Panania.
You can learn more about our dental services here, or contact us to book your next appointment.